An auction of sports equipment donated by top Estonian athletes has raised €10,000 euros to support the Ukrainian army.
Items sold in the auction raised a total of €8,305, with additional donations collected during the campaign taking that figure up to €10,000.
The money raised will now be divided equally between two organizations: 'Lift99' and NGO 'United Delivery Mission.' Both are involved in transporting equipment from Estonia to the Ukrainian army.
Ragnar Sass, a representative of Lift99, was touched by the donations from Estonian athletes and sports fans. "We are currently putting together a new convoy for our friends who temporarily had to withdraw from Sievierodonetsk. Their car (delivering equipment) was destroyed by the Russian army, and they had to hike 54km by themselves, fully equipped, just to make it out alive. Now they are full of determination to get back to the front and clear Ukraine of the occupiers."
Sass said that, for the new convoy, it is now necessary to look for vehicles from outside Estonia. "In Estonia, I think we have already bought up (all the) serviceable off-road vehicles from various companies, (which would be suitable) for the army. Now we need to assemble a new convoy of trucks from England," he said, adding that Lift99 would welcome anyone to get in touch who owns an SUV in good condition, which they are willing to donate or sell at a reasonable price.
Equipment donated by freestyle skier Kelly Sildaru raised the most money at the auction, going for €1,490. The racquet used by Annet Kontaveit at the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) Finals sold to Angel Investor Kristjan Raude for €1,000, making it the highest priced individual item in the auction.
An Estonian national team jersey signed by archer Lisell Jäätma, along with one of her arrows, is heading to Canada after being sold for €700 to add to an archery fan's private collection.
Sports equipment was also donated to the auction to support Ukraine by Gerd Kanter, Magnus Kirt, Rasmus Mägi, Kusti Nõlvak, Mart Tiisaar, Ardo Kreek, Robert Täht, Liis Kullerkann, Kristin Tattar, Albert Tamm, Janelle Uibokand, Allar Raja, Ott Kiivikas, Risto Lillemets, Johanna Talihärm, Tuuli Tomingas, Johannes Erm, Maicel Uibo and Janek Õiglane, as well as the Estonian men's and women's national volleyball teams and the national basketball team.
Editor: Michael Cole