Rugby League has been played in Belarus for the first time, following a four team 9s tournament held in Rechista. The home side faced Kyiv and Rivne, from the Ukraine, and a side from Moscow.
Tournament organisers Ilia Turik and Nikolai Zarezako, having participated in a coaching course in Kyiv in January this year (with the support of the Ukrainian Federation), returned home to get the sport going; their efforts to date culminating in this inaugural event, won by Rivne.
“It was a wonderful first occasion,” said Turik. “We tried to make it an event, both for those who came to watch and for our players – all experiencing the sport for the first time. I want to express special thanks to Artur Martyrosian from Ukraine and Aleksandr Kolikov from Russia; without their motivation and moral support the tournament would not have taken place.”
Martyrosian noted: “We are very proud that we supported our Belarus colleagues, and that we have brought Rugby League to this new country. We wish them every success in the development of this great sport and look forward to further meetings.”