"Instead of Wimbledon, the hottest spot, unbreakable Bakhmut," Ukraine's top tennis player Serhiy Stakhovsky in the Sports Front project
Serhiy Stakhovsky, an expert racket player and fighter of the National Guard of Ukraine, has become the new ambassador of the Sports Front project
In a symbolic video, the multiple ATP titleholder called on the international sports community to support Ukraine and prevent Russians and Belarusians from participating in all kinds of competitions, including the Olympic Games. Sergiy also spoke about the fateful decision he undoubtedly made after the start of the great war. The video is available for viewing and sharing in Ukrainian, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
"Like hundreds of Ukrainian athletes, the choice was obvious for me - to compete for the victory of my country on the frontline. Instead of a tennis court, it was the trenches. Instead of a racket in my hands, I was holding a weapon. Instead of Wimbledon, the hottest spot, the unbreakable Bakhmut.
Instead, Russian and Belarusian athletes support Russia's aggression against Ukraine. They remain silent and continue to compete in a neutral status. The ATP and WTA provide them with this opportunity. This is a shameful decision.
And the IOC is even considering allowing these athletes to compete in the Olympics under a neutral flag. However, we all know that it is tainted with Ukrainian blood," the video says.
In addition, Sergiy Stakhovsky urged users on his social media to share thematic posts with the campaign's hashtags - #BoycottRussianSport, #TurnOffRussia, #StandWithUkraine, #StopWar, #russiaisateroriststate - emphasising that terrorists have no place in sport.
The video is available for viewing and sharing on 1+1 media's social media channels, as well as on 1+1 and TSN YouTube channels. The social campaign is also being broadcast as part of the United News telethon.
The 1+1 media platforms that are also involved in the project include Breakfast with 1+1, Profootball Digital, FootballHub, Pro Sport, TSN.ua, UNIAN, Glavred, the official website of 1+1 TV channel and many other resources.
As a reminder, on the eve of the IOC Congress (28-30 March), 1+1 media group, together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, called on the committee to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from the 2024 Olympic Games. In their video message, 1+1 media and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs involved representatives of the sports community who have conquered Olympic peaks and won awards at world-class competitions at different times. The full version of the video is available in Ukrainian, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
In June, 1+1 media group, together with Andriy Shevchenko, the best football player in Europe in 2004, head coach of the national team of Ukraine (2016-2021), a legendary athlete known all over the world and a hero of Ukraine, launched the Sports Front project. This is a large-scale communication campaign, as well as a series of initiatives, videos and events designed to draw the attention of the international sports community to the war in Ukraine. Nine videos are already available online, featuring Andriy Shevchenko himself, world judo champion Georgiy Zantaraya, Olympic bronze medallist Anna Rizatdinova, Olympic bronze medallist Stanislav Goruna, and legendary goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovsky, Olympic champion and silver medallist of the 2016 Olympic Games Oleg Verniaiev, Olympic champion Olga Harlan, Olympic champion Jean Beleniuk, absolute Olympic champion of the 1996 Olympic Games Lilia Podkopaeva, and former Ukrainian racket player Serhiy Stakhovsky. The project is supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and Tribuna.com.