Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Ukraine Fit-Fest: St Andrews rallying round student raising funds for her besieged homeland

Darya and friends prepare for Ukraine Fit-Fest.
Ross Whittaker (34), Ailsa Gow (30), Alexa Zildjian (25) and Darya Tsymbalyuk (32) at Saints Gym in St Andrews. Picture Steve Brown / DCT Media.

A Ukrainian graduate from St Andrews University has praised the solidarity of locals as she raises funds for her besieged homeland.

Darya Tsymbalyuk studied for a PhD in modern languages and international relations at the Fife university.

And townspeople are getting behind her efforts to stage a Ukraine Fit-Fest, despite fears for her own family back home.

Darya Tsymbalyuk is organising the first Ukraine Fit-Fest with her friends.
Darya Tsymbalyuk is organising the first Ukraine Fit-Fest with her friends. Picture Steve Brown/DCT Media.

Darya still lives in St Andrews and is desperately worried about parents Victoria and Anatoly who are still in Ukraine.

Anatoly is a retired military man who re-joined the army when Putin’s troops invaded in March.

The Ukrainian defence was hindered initially by a lack of essentials, including basic uniforms.

And it fell to one of Darya’s friends to travel to Poland to post army boots to her father.

Meanwhile, her mother is in Kyiv which has endured several bouts of shelling.

Despite her family concerns, Darya is thinking about those who are less well off.

And she is trying to raise money for a Ukrainian children’s hospital and a centre for disabilities.

Ukraine Fit-Fest tickets

The fitness fanatic has joined forces with three of her friends at Saints Sports gym to organise Ukraine Fit-Fest on May 14.

It will involve Zumba, relaxation and stretching, with all proceeds going to the good causes.

Darya says everyone she has spoken to is fully behind the event at Saints Sports Pitches in St Andrews.

“The instructors at my gym have all been really kind,” she said.

“They all said let’s do this big fundraiser, let’s help.”

Darya with gym instructors Ross Whittaker, Ailsa Gow and Alexa Ziildjian, who are helping organise Ukraine Fit-Fest.
Darya with gym instructors Ross Whittaker, Ailsa Gow and Alexa Ziildjian, who are helping organise Ukraine Fit-Fest. Picture Steve Brown/DCTMedia.

Local businesses are also on board and have donated raffle prizes and home baking to sell during the two-and-a-half-hour mini-festival on Saturday.

“I’ve been incredibly supported,” said Darya.

“There is a lot of solidarity in the town.”

Ukraine Fit-Fest begins at 11am on Saturday May 14 with registration and an introductory speech.

Zumba with instructor Ailsa Gow takes place from 11.15 until noon.

And this is followed by relax and stretch with Ross Whittaker from 12.15 until 12.50.

A bake sale and socialising then runs until the raffle draw at 1.20pm.

Participants are asked to wear yellow and blue if they can.

Tickets cost £7.50 for one class and £10 for two and are available at the door on the day.

People can also register here.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]