Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation

About the Foundation

Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation was created in August 2020 by sports officials and famous athletes, including champions and medal winners at the Olympics and other international competitions. 

The Foundation’s goal is to provide support to the athletes who were detained and faced repressions for taking part in peaceful manifestations, excluded from the national teams, scratched from competitions, sacked, or stripped from stipends or salaries for expressing their political views. 

HOW WE HELP

We will provide financial support

We will provide legal advice and protect your rights

We will appeal to international bodies, such as Committees, Federations, Associations, with the demand to protect you personally

We will arrange for a complete training process for you at international facilities with the use of international infrastructure

OUR TEAM

Aliaksandra Herasimenia

Chairwoman of the Belarusian Sport Solidarity Foundation (BSSF), Olympics 2012 double vice-champion, Olympics 2016 bronze medal winner in swimming.

For the first time in the history of independent Belarus, our people took to the streets in mass protests against the dictatorship. Peaceful manifestations take place all around the country and resonate with people from absolutely all social backgrounds. Students, women, businessmen, factory workers, athletes, IT specialists, the young and the elderly - everyone takes to the streets. Today, we aren’t just protecting our rights, freedom and future; we are protecting our and our children’s lives and safety. Athletes and sports officials face repressions aimed at keeping them quiet. Top officials terrorize, threaten, and sack them for expressing their civic position and condemning the violence and political persecution. Athletes are being excluded from the national teams and threatened with the ban on taking part in national and international events, including the Olympics.

But as they stood shoulder to shoulder, Belarusians came to realize how strong they are together. Over 1000 Belarusian athletes signed an open letter to the government with the demand to stop the violence, and the number of the co-signed keeps rising.

International solidarity matters to us now more than ever. This is why I encourage you to talk about what is happening in Belarus. Solidarity is stronger than repressions!

Director of BSSF, Handball Club “Vityaz” Coordinator, European Handball Association Marketing Inspector
Aleksandr Opeykin
Media Manager, founder of the largest Russian sports media outlet Sports.ru
Dmitriy Navosha
PR Manager, former RBK and Forbes Russian correspondent
Evgeniy Medvedev
BSSF Coordinator
Андрей
Ткачев
IT-Manager
Ales Krasouski
Communication Manager
Inga
Rakavets
PR Manager Assistant
Valeryia Liubayeva
PR Manager Assistant, Designer
Nadin
Abu Rashed

ACTIVITY

In October 2020, over 800 Belarusian athletes signed an open letter condemning the violence in Belarus. Among them were the European Athletics champions Olga Mazurenok, Elvira German, Marina Arzamasova; European and World sambo champion Stepan Popov; 2008 Olympics silver medalist and European Athletics champion Andrey Kravchenko; Olympic double medal winner in swimming Aliaksandra Herasimenia; 1980 Olympics cycling gold medalist Oleg Logvin; Olympic freestyle champion Anna Guskova; World freestyle champion Aleksandra Romanovskaya, and many others.

Once the letter was published, the athletes who had signed it experienced disproportionately massive and terrorizing pressure from both government and sports officials.

WHO DO WE PROTECT?

Yelena Leuchanka

She is a basketball player,, the best Centre in the world in 2010, won two championships in Russia, one in Lithuania, one in Poland, played in the WNBA Finals, won the bronze in the European Championship with the Belarusian national team. 

She was arrested for 15 days for participating in a peaceful protests.

She is a freestyler, 2018 Olympics participant, 2019 World Champion, 2019 Winter Universiade double gold medal winner, multiple prize winner at the World Cup events.

She was dismissed for absences.

Aleksandra Romanovskaya
Svetlana Kudelich

European Athletics silver medalist, she was excluded from the national team.

Lost her job at the Ministry of Emergency Situations for her active civic position and signing the open letter. 

Silver medalist in athletics of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, European champion, one of the active members of the Belarus Athletes Free Union.

Lost his job in KGB after signing the Open Letter.

Andrey Kravchenko
Aliaksandr Rummo

Head coach of the U17 Natuonal Ice Hockey Team.

Lost his job due to signing the Open Letter. 

Capitan of the Belarus national rugby team, bronze medalist of the European Beach Rugby Championships. She signed the Open Letter.

Sentenced к 10 суткам ареста for participating in a peaceful protests.

Maria Shakuro
Natalya Petrakova

One of the most famoust Belarussian handball players, senior coach of the women's handball national team.

Dismissed from her position due to signing the Open Letter. 

A football player, forward of FC BATE and the national team.

Sentenced to 7 days in jail for participating in a peaceful protests.

Anton Saroka
Yahor Mescharakov

Top Belarusian and international basketball player, ex-Deputy President of the Belarusian Basketball Federation.

Fined around 200 euro for participating in a peaceful protests. 

HOW TO APPLY FOR HELP

If you are an athlete and suffered at the hands of Belarusian authorities, e.g. were arrested, lost your job, were excluded from the team or forced to quit - fill in the form and describe your situation in detail.

Our representatives will contact you within one working day.

The Foundation distributes help openly, transparently, with accountability to the benefactors, and with respect for civil rights and freedoms.

OUR DEMANDS

Stop the violence and all human rights violations by security forces officers, and investigate the legitimacy of their actions. Find and punish those responsible for beatings and tortures. Security forces and agencies Directors who gave the illegal orders and are responsible for the violence, must resign, face an independent Court of Law, and be sentenced in accordance with the legislation of the Republic of Belarus.

An immediate release and rehabilitation of all political prisoners, as well as citizens arrested during manifestations, meetings and protests. Provide help to all the victims and the repressed.

Hold new Presidential elections in accordance with International standards. The entire CEC (Central Election Committee) must resign. Its current members must face justice and be held legally responsible for multiple facts of election fraud and falsifications observed and registered during the Belarusian Presidential elections on August 9th, 2020.

Should we receive any further information about any attempts of asserting pressure, threats of sacking, or any other human and civil rights violations against the athletes who signed the open letter, the athletes’ community will act in solidarity. This may lead to refusing to represent the national teams or organize national or international sports events. Moreover, these instances will be immediately reported to the IOC (International Olympic Committee), Sports Federations, and Committees.