Latest News

One year on, we hear from the Ukrainian polo federation -

One year on from the Russian invasion of their country, we hear direct from the Ukrainian Water Polo Federation of its impact on the lives of polo players and their families. Read more from Ukraine below.

<<Yevhen Obedynskyi was the long-time captain of Illichivets”. The son of the former head coach of Illichivets Oleksandr Obedynskyi, he played for the Ukrainian national team on several occasions. Yevhen was a master of sports, a multiple champion of Ukraine as part of the “Illichivets” team, and captain of the Ukrainian water polo team. He was vivacious, sociable, persistent, and never gave up. He had three children. 

The last time Yevhen competed was in 2020 in the Cup of Ukraine, and then following a cancer diagnosis he was forced to give up the game he loved. Yevhen died during an aerial bombardment on March 17, 2022.

Yevhen’s father, Oleksandr Obedinsky wrote, “He was a sensitive son, brother, father, friend, and an excellent athlete. He was a great lover of life, never gave up, and never complained about life, no matter how difficult it was for him. He always had one answer: don’t worry dad, I’ll be fine. We had a very warm and trusting relationship and we treated each other with love. Terrible pain and irreparable loss. Bright memory, the kingdom of heaven to my son”

Two more representatives of Ukrainian water polo have died in the war; Oleg Holodnikov and state coach Vitaly Lisun. Oleg Holodnikov was 42 years old and had performed at a professional level for a long time. The last club in the Super League of Ukraine, for which he played, was “Mariupol”, and he was also killed in an aerial bombardment.

Vitaly Lisun, a state water polo coach, died on the front line in the Sumy region. He joined the Ukraine Armed Forces, underwent military training abroad, and then went to the front line, where he performed combat tasks.

Vitaly Lisun was the state coach of Ukraine and a judge of the national water polo category. For many years, he worked as the secretary of the Ukrainian Water Polo Federation. As part of the Water Polo Club “Dynamo Kyiv,” he was a past Ukrainian champion.

Remembering Vitaly, Oleksandr Svishchov, President of the Ukrainian Water Polo Federation wrote, “This is an incredible, catastrophic loss for the water polo family of Ukraine. A person who was always devoted to his work, who loved and supported the development of water polo in Ukraine with all his heart, died. During my year as president, I always understood that I could rely on Vitaly, he was a true professional in his work, a man of his word and honour. We will remember him as the worthiest person who worked for the benefit of Ukrainian sports. Vitaly Lisun is a hero of Ukraine…”>>

The Ukrainian Federation tell us that on February 24 2022, from the very morning of the invasion, everyone in the Ukrainian polo community pulled together. Young players were successfully evacuated to a number of European federations in order to provide an opportunity for training, and the Ukrainian Federation would like to thank several European water polo federations: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania, Germany, Italy, and Romania, who responded immediately. To date, many young Ukrainian water polo players remain living and training abroad.

We understand that there were problems with availability of swimming pools for water polo in Ukraine even before the war, and this has since been compounded by the destruction of four aquatic complexes.

Despite the difficulty of gathering their athletes together, Ukrainian national teams have taken part in international competitions over the last year. Although results have been affected, representing Ukraine on the international stage remains crucial, and our GB senior men’s team is delighted to be playing against Ukraine later this month in World Aquatics World Cup B Division qualification tournament in Romania.

The continuing plight of the Ukrainian players’ families is very close to the hearts of our senior men’s GB team, and they have set up a justgiving page here >

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.