Rugby league has been played in Belarus for the first time, following a four team 9s tournament held in Rechista. The home side faced Kyiv and Rivne from the Ukraine and a side from Moscow. Tournament organisers Ilia Turik and Nikolai Zarezako were participants on a coaching course in Kyiv in January this year and, with the support of the Ukrainian Federation, returned home to start the sport culminating in this inaugural event, won by Rivne.
“It was a wonderful first occasion,” said Turik. “We tried to make it an event for those who came and for our players experiencing the sport for the first time. I want to express special thanks to Artur Martyrosian from Ukraine and Aleksandr Kolikov from Russia, without their motivation and moral support the tournament would not have taken place.”
Martyrosian noted: “We are very proud that we supported our Belarus colleagues and that we brought rugby league to this new country. We wish them every success in the development of this great sport and look forward to further meetings.”