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The war in Ukraine has seen the golf world unite behind the country’s people with Golfers For Ukraine, an industry-wide effort to raise donations for UNICEF, the United Nations charity dedicated to providing humanitarian and developmental aid to children affected by the crisis.
Speaking ahead of this week’s Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan announced the initiative and explained the rationale behind the move. He said: “Our hearts go out to the people of Ukraine and those caught in the crosshairs of the conflict. We hope for an end to this senseless violence and a peaceful resolution. The game of golf has a way of rallying around important causes and this is one.”
The move will see players, caddies and staff wear blue and yellow ribbons (the colours of the Ukrainian flag) at this week’s unofficial fifth Major as a show of support for the Ukrainian people. Meanwhile, the PGA Tour is one of the golf organisations that has donated to Golfers For Ukraine and encouraged golfers to do the same.
Players spoke of their anguish at the ongoing events following the invasion of Ukraine by Russia two weeks ago. World No.1 Jon Rahm said: “It’s hard. It’s hard to see, honestly. These people in Ukraine right now need help. It’s a lot of innocent people that shouldn’t be going through this. I am at a loss for words every time I think about it.”
Meanwhile, World No.5 Rory McIlroy echoed those sentiments, saying: “I think what’s going on in Ukraine is absolutely horrible. It’s absolutely brutal. It’s sad. It’s heartbreaking to see what’s happening to that country and those people and the families. From a human side of things, it’s just horrible what is going on.”
UNICEF is on the ground in Ukraine offering children and their families emergency supplies including water and offering trauma care. Meanwhile, the charity is also offering help to children separated from family. UNICEF has also set up safe spaces for families in neighbouring countries called 'Blue Dots'. The charity hopes to raise $349m for its response in Ukraine, and, with the website golfersforukraine.com receiving over £225,000 in donations as of Tuesday morning, the golf world is playing its part in ensuring it reaches its target.
Mike has 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on sports such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the sport’s most newsworthy stories. Originally from East Yorkshire, Mike now resides in Canada, where the nearest course is less than a mile from his home. It’s there where he remains confident that, one of these days, he’ll play the 17th without finding the water. Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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