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Ukrainian Ice Hockey star, 10, Joins UK Team After Fleeing Home

A young Olympic ice hockey star from Ukraine who left his home after the bombing of his neighborhood rink is now a hockey star.

A Ukrainian ice hockey youth Olympic star who fled home after his local ice rink was bombed has now joined a team in the UK.

Myron, 10, left Ukraine with his mother, Kateryna Levadna, in July last year to make their way to safety in Swindon, Wiltshire.

Since the ice rink he used to play at in his hometown of Kharkiv was destroyed, Myron has wished to return to the ice.

In Ukraine, Myron played Ice Hockey for the national Dynamo Kharkiv team and trained in Kharkiv city twice a day, five times a week.

He had always dreamed of playing professional ice hockey and, before the war, was even part of the youth Olympic reserve team.

When Russia declared war on Ukraine in February last year, the situation worsened in Kateryna and Myron’s home city of Kharkiv.

The local ice rink where Myron was training was hit by a Russian missile, and Kateryna knew it was time to get to a safe country.

But thanks to the Swindon Welcomes Ukraine group – Myron now plays for the youth team of the Swindon Wildcats.

Myron has dreamt of getting back on the ice following the destruction of the ice rink he played at in his home city of Kharkiv. SWINDON WELCOMES UKRAINE/SWNS

Kateryna said: “I was watching the news each day and watching out of my window as Russia bombed our city with cruise and ballistic missiles.

“There was so much destruction and loss of life, I was so scared for my family that when I heard about the UK Homes for Ukraine Scheme, I knew I had to try and find a host and escape to England.”

Kateryna posted on Facebook for a sponsor to host them and luckily found one in Swindon, Bindoo Rattan and her partner, who live in West Swindon.

Bindoo said: “I had recently joined the Swindon Welcomes Ukraine Committee to do what I could to help.

“I found Kateryna and we got talking, and I really wanted to offer her and Myron a safe place to stay.

“So we applied for VISA’s and got them over as quickly as we could. It’s been 9 months now, and they both feel like part of the family.”

As well as his training, Myron now attends Shaw Ridge Primary School in Swindon.

Through their manager, Charlotte Phipps, Myron now plays for the youth team of the Swindon Wildcats.

Charlotte said: “It’s been fantastic to have Myron join our youth team.

“Not only is he an incredibly talented player, but he is getting on really well with the others and setting the new standard.

“He works incredibly hard too, and that drive is what we aspire to install in all of our young players.”

The Swindon Wildcats’ parents group have also helped Myron by raising funds to help with kit and travel to games.

Kateryna said: “We are so grateful for the opportunities we have in Swindon.

“Now children in Ukraine have little opportunity to go to school, play sports or lead a normal life.

“I am pleased to say Myron has adapted well, is socializing really well with his friends, playing sports and making good progress in school.

“He likes sports, chess, loves to play console games and also he loves math.”

Myron with his mother Kateryna Levadna. They left Ukraine in July 2022. SWINDON WELCOMES UKRAINE/SWNS

The Swindon Wildcats Academy Chairman, Lee Mason, has been instrumental in welcoming Myron to the team.

He said: “We actually have two Ukrainian children who have joined our youth team and Myron in particular is excelling, probably due to his extensive training back in Ukraine and Dayd a young u10 player is a developing talent.

“We are so pleased to be able to offer this opportunity for our new Ukrainian young players, and we hope they will continue to develop, not only on the ice, but also as driven young people in the local community.

“I would like to thank our volunteer coaches and managers and all of our Academy families for making both boys so welcome.”

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

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