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United4Ukraine Olympic hero Kellie Harrington donates boxing vest for eBay auction for Ukraine funds

Kellie is also auctioning off one of her championship-winning gloves for United4Ukraine

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Kellie and Ukrainian boxing coach Igor Khmil

Kellie and Ukrainian boxing coach Igor Khmil

Kellie and Ukrainian boxing coach Igor Khmil

KELLIE Harrington has donated her Olympic vest to raise funds for victims of war-torn Ukraine.

The Tokyo gold medallist has also gifted one of the gloves she wore when she won the Strandja Cup tournament in Bulgaria last month to the charity United4Ukraine.

Both items will be auctioned on eBay and the bidding is scheduled to last for seven days.

United4Ukraine was set up by Ukrainian born boxing coach Igor Khmil who has lived in Ireland for the last 20 years and founded Smithfield Boxing club in Dublin’s city centre in 2008.

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Kellie signing the vest and one of her gloves

Kellie signing the vest and one of her gloves

Kellie signing the vest and one of her gloves

Kellie brought the nation to a standstill last year when winning the gold medal in the lightweight division at the Tokyo Olympics

Together with Paralympic swimming gold medallist Ellen Keane she was the Grand Marshall of the St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin on Thursday and later wooed the nation with her rendition of ‘Grace’ on a special Late Late Show.

In a twitter post Smithfield BC announced that Harrington had made the donation to the charity.

‘The pride of Ireland, ‘Kelly64kg has donated her Tokyo Olympic vest and one of the gloves she used to win gold at the 73rd Strandja Tournament for auction for #United4Ukraine@irishredcross appeal. Bidding open for 7 days.

Bids can be made here

Igor Khmil’s 67-year-old mother Orysya lives in the Western Ukraine city of Ivano-Frankivsk which was bombed by the Russians ten days ago.

She is refusing to leave and join her son in Dublin as she wants to help the refugees who are fleeing from eastern Ukraine which has been pounded by Russian bombing since the invasion began.

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Kellie wore the shirt when she won boxing gold in Japan

Kellie wore the shirt when she won boxing gold in Japan

Kellie wore the shirt when she won boxing gold in Japan

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Igor’s only sibling Galia also lives in Ukraine while his cousin Lesya – who is seven months pregnant - and her husband live in the capital Kyiv where it is estimated half the population have fled since the Russian invasion.

“My mother has taken people into her apartment. The hope is that the war will not spread to this part of the country,” said Igor who felt obliged to come to the assistance of his fellow countrymen.

Khmil has turned what initially was a WhatsApp group into United4Ukraine with the help of his colleagues from Smithfield Boxing club.

Harrington together with Olympic silver medallist Kenneth Egan, former World middleweight pro champion Andy Lee and Ireland’s Head Coach Zaur Antia have pledged their allegiance and group hope to organise a series of boxing themed fund-raising event in the coming weeks.

All boxing clubs in Ireland are to donate their subs from one’s hour training to the fund and it is hoped that sporting clubs in other codes will link in with this ‘Train for Ukraine’ initiative.

The funds pledged through United4Ukraine’s JustGiving platform go directly to the Irish Red Cross.

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