Craig Williams has returned on home soil with a newfound perspective describing his second mission to war-torn Ukraine as life changing.
Williams witnessed first-hand the devastation caused by the war upon arriving to the west of Ukraine where the Russian’s had attacked only hours earlier.
“We found out that the day before we arrived in our hotel in our particular town where we were staying in and having our meetings, 200 metres from our hotel was bombed the day before with four missiles,” Williams revealed.
“We understood then the scope and how wide ranging the Russian federation can reach.
“The devastation of those missiles was devastating, I couldn’t comprehend until we were part of it and saw what happened.
“Not just the impact where the craters were but for 1000 metres of blown out windows and people getting knocked off their feet.”
Williams spent six days in Ukraine with his wife Larysa, who originates from Ukraine, and was also joined by former jockey Chris Symons in helping deliver over 1000 kilograms of first-aid and survival trauma kits.
“For us to actually go there and be there for six days and really get a feeling for the situation and the people over there and how grateful they were,” Williams professed.
“And it wasn’t lost on the people from Ukraine to realise this help come from Australia and it’s over 15,000 kilometres away.
“To see their emotions and gratitude it was overwhelming and we just knew it was the right thing to do.”
The champion rider has committed to setting up projects for the next twelve months to assist those on the front line with continued support from those in the racing industry.
Williams returned to Australia on Thursday evening and took his first book of rides in four weeks at Caulfield on Saturday.
“One thing about being away was perspective and how lucky we are to live in Australia and I am lucky I love my job and love being horses backs and competing,” he said.
“We found out travelling around that an Australian passport is like gold so we should realise how privileged and lucky we are.
“Your only successful in this industry if you work hard.
“There are cold mornings compared to where we’ve been but I love it and this is the time now my manager Jason Breen and I start working with trainers and owners and hopefully giving ourselves plenty of options going into the spring.
“Being over in Ukraine gave me a greater perspective and you don’t take things for granted, I love what I do and living in Australia.”
Article via Racing.com