Eliud Kipchoge, Kenya’s celebrated two-time Olympic marathon champion, has been appointed to mentor the Under-20 World Athletics Athlete Refugee Team (ART).
His role will involve sharing his extensive experience and knowledge in athletics to guide and inspire young refugee athletes.
Kipchoge, known for his discipline and passion for education and reading, will also impart life skills and encourage the pursuit of academics alongside sports training. He is set to hold this mentorship role until the World Athletics U20 Championships in Lima in 2024.
This mentorship aligns with the recent announcement of the Multistakeholder Pledge on Sport for Inclusion and Protection of Refugees at the Global Refugee Forum 2023, held in Geneva.
The pledge, signed by over 100 organizations, emphasizes using sports as a tool for the betterment of refugees’ lives worldwide.
World Athletics, a member of the Sport for Refugee Coalition, has committed to this pledge, aiming to enhance the lives of stateless individuals through various sports initiatives.
The Global Refugee Forum, a quadrennial event, focuses on supporting the Global Compact on Refugees’ goals, including relieving pressure on host countries and improving conditions for refugees.
The World Athletics Athlete Refugee Team, established in 2016, represents athletes displaced due to violence, conflict, and injustice. I
t made its debut at the 2016 Olympics and has participated in numerous World Athletics events. The U20 team, a pilot initiative started in 2022, trains partly at Kakuma Refugee Camp and Kapsabet, Kenya, under the leadership of 2007 world 800m champion Janeth Jepkosgei and Swiss educator Barbara Moser-Mercer.
This initiative, supported by various organizations, including the UNHCR and ORF, highlights World Athletics’ commitment to refugee support.