Nairobi — Paul Tergat, the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOC-K) boss has been appointed as a Board Member of the Olympic Refugee Foundation for a period of four years.
In statement from Lausanne, the Foundation Board reaffirmed its commitment to leveraging sport to protect and support young people affected by displacement worldwide.
Tergat, who is also an International Olympic Committee of Kenya (IOC) Member, hailed the appointment as another positive step for Kenya whose athletes continue to market Kenya all over the world.
“I am humbled by this distinct honour to appoint me to the Board of the Olympic Refugee Foundation to join other eminent members and to add my voice, experience and passion to enable this program scale up and attain its noble goals,” Tergat, Kenya’s athletics legend remarked.
Having served as a goodwill Ambassador against Hunger for WFP, Tergat understands the plight of displaced persons and the devastation that come with it.
Kenya is currently one of the hosts of the Refugee Olympic Team with 18 IOC refugee scholarship holders currently training in Ngong, Kenya.
They are part of the 55-refugee athlete scholarship-holders worldwide, vying to be part of the Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020, whose Chef de Mission is Kenyan, Tegla Loroupe.
The strategic four-year plan of the Olympic Refuge Foundation will allow them to continue and expand its activities to effect change in three areas:
– Access: Support and shape 20 programmes engaging young people affected by displacement that respond to local needs; Create a Master Trainers network to develop a capacity of 2,000+ coaches.
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– Adoption: Leverage networks and influencers through targeted advocacy in close collaboration with the IOC and UNHCR to ensure that safe sport is increasingly accepted and adopted by practitioners and policy-makers.
– Collective action: Mobilise the Sport for Refugees Coalition of 80+ partners and build multi-stakeholder partnerships to scale, improve and innovate the way in which sport is used to help young people affected by displacement.
The Olympic Refugee Foundation was created in 2017 by the IOC and it has since coordinated 11 programmes in seven countries (Democratic Republic of Congo, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Rwanda, Turkey and Uganda), with new programmes to be launched shortly in Colombia and France. As a result, 200,000 young people are currently benefiting from sports programmes designed to improve their well-being and social inclusion.
The Foundation seeks to shape a movement for displaced young people to thrive through sport and it currently enjoys the support of a number of partners worldwide, and the momentum is growing.
The IOC has been helping refugees through sport since 1994 in partnership with UNHCR. In 2016, the first-ever IOC Refugee Olympic Team competed in Rio de Janeiro, and Olympic Solidarity is currently supporting the 55-refugee athlete scholarship-holders vying to be part of the Refugee Olympic Team Tokyo 2020.
The IOC will continue to help the refugee athletes who will not go to Tokyo, and to assist the members of the team after the Olympic Games. The Olympic Refuge Foundation is the next chapter in the IOC’s commitment to providing assistance to refugees, ensuring support 365 days a year across the globe.