HELPING YOUNG ATHLETES
Hello. My name is Marko Lukan, I am from Slovenia. I am the father of two 18-year-old athletes, twins, ice-hockey players. We find ourselves in an awkward situation from which we see no way out. Namely, last season, at the age of 17, the two young hockey players separated from their home club for the first time in their lives and sought new challenges and knowledge in a better league and played their hockey in Martin, Slovakia. That's a place some 700 km from home. They learned to live alone, rented an apartment, cooked and everything else.
Yeah, Slovenia, Slovakia - these are countries with a similar name.
Anyway, their Slovak adventure last season was interrupted by a coronavirus epidemic, which caused them to flee back home and return to Slovenia just 4 hours before Slovak-Austrian and Austrian-Slovenian borders closed.
To cut a long story short: this season they have been invited to Slovakia again, but unfortunately, this is not feasible due to the extremely high costs. Last season cost around 10,000 EUR (rent money, hockey equipment etc.).
Here is the problem: to transfer back to the home organization in Slovenia, you have to pay 2000 EUR to the International Ice Hockey Federation. I have raised money for the boys in the past - I walked 200 km from their home arena to the place where they won the title of Slovenian youth champions.
As their father, I HAVE BEEN UNEMPLOYED FOR ELEVEN YEARS DUE TO ILLNESS (of mental nature), and I struggle being the only payer of their hockey activities (their mother is not living with us). I am a writer and a publisher myself, but to be honest - ever since COVID crisis is in our lives, I didn't earn a dime which, in a vicious circle, leads to my illness again.
According to the regulations, the International Ice Hockey Federation expects payment from the organization the players are coming to. However, our new and except last season domestic team refuses to pay for it. They say - if the twins want to play, I have to pay for it. That's how things are going on in Slovenia, unfortunately.
The season starts in several days. The twins have worked and earned a little bit in hometown factory and already played a few friendly matches, but without a paid international transfer they are not allowed to play in official games.
Let me add just one more thing - the boys are excellent students. I am sincerely proud of them.
Is there maybe, just maybe, someone out there who can help us? The three of us would bless you.