The president of the Ukrainian Federation of Rugby League, Artur Martyrosyan Jnr, recently conducted a visit to England, with his principal objective being to garner support from Super League clubs to back his similar vision back home.
The Ukrainian Super League project, which is supported by Spanish sportswear company Joma, is intended to increase the visibility of the sport in the country through exposure to the SLE competition, whose clubs would also ally with newly created Ukrainian premier outfits. The UFRL anticipates them being linked to local government funding and play out of quality stadia.
“I came to create links between eight Super League clubs and a similar number back home,” said Martyrosyan, who also forged alliances at other levels of the game. “I am so happy with the results of the trip. The most positive aspect is that I found those who are willing to receive Ukrainian players immediately. Our players have a good physique and technique but their game experience and tactical awareness needs improving, so we will start with this player exchange.”
Martyrosyan added: “I would like to thank (Super League general manager) Mark Foster for his time and understanding of our situation in Ukraine. He appreciates that this project can help the growth of European rugby league and Super League’s popularity.”
His trip included watching the Challenge Cup final at Wembley, he also met with York City Knights and discussed possible tours to the Ukraine in 2018 with the British Amateur Rugby League Association and community clubs in York and Leeds. “I will now go back to Ukraine, speak to Joma and wait to receive news from the UK clubs,” said Martyrosyan. “I would like to thank them all for their generosity and interest in this project.”