Despite the 1,500-mile distance between Somerset and Kyiv, Premiership rugby club Bath is assisting Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
The English group has asked its fans to donate a variety of necessities in order to help refugees and those who have been displaced as a result of the war.
On Wednesday, a group of nine Bath players will leave The Rec, driving three vanloads of goods on a “2,000-plus mile round trip” to a Red Cross Centre in Poland.
Product of the Academy Tom Ellis is among those who will travel to Poland with the team. Blankets, sleeping bags, clothing, and children’s toys are among the things requested by the club, with many of those forced to flee their homes living on the bare necessities and begging for donations.
Three vans will be positioned near the William Street Gate entry car park at the Rec from midday until 16:45 on Wednesday 30 March, with the club requesting donations of (van 1) sleeping bags and blankets, (van 2) adult clothing, and (van 3) children’s clothing and toys.
After 16:45, only supporters with tickets to our Premiership Rugby Cup match vs Worcester Warriors will be able to donate.
Following the gathering, a group of Bath Rugby players will transport the vehicles to a Red Cross Centre in Poland to distribute the products to Ukrainian refugees in need.
One of those making the trip 2,000-plus mile round trip is forward Tom Ellis. He said: “We are asking all Bath supporters to join us in bringing sleeping bags, blankets, adults and children’s clothing and toys to the Rec on Wednesday.
“Nine of us will then drive the donations to Poland, to the people who need them most. Every single item will make a difference to somebody.”
A Bath statement added: “People are encouraged to bag their donations separately so they can be distributed into the correct van. Thank you in advance for your support and donations.”
President Vladimir Putin’s army encroached on Ukraine’s eastern, northern, and southern borders on February 24.
The actual death toll of Ukrainian citizens is impossible to verify, but “nearly 5,000 people” are estimated to have been killed in the southeastern city of Mariupol alone, according to reports on Tuesday.
It is estimated that 3.8 million Ukrainians have deserted the country for neighbouring countries. However, according to BBC News, a further 6.5 million people are expected to be evacuated from their homes while remaining in Ukraine.