Eliud Kipchoge lands big role with refugee agency

Wednesday, December 13th, 2023 18:55 | By
Eliud Kipchoge poses with fans in Berlin. PHOTO/Reuters
Eliud Kipchoge poses with fans in Berlin. PHOTO/Reuters

Two-time Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge has been appointed as a mentor for the U20 World Athletics Athlete Refugee Team (ART).

According to World Athletics, Kipchoge will use his great experience in the sport to educate and inspire upcoming athletes.

"Kipchoge will motivate the team members by sharing his knowledge and discipline in the sport while also encouraging them to pursue their education and read books, which is one of his own passions.

"Committed to helping the underprivileged, the former world record-holder will also share life skills as part of the role, which he will hold through to next year’s World Athletics U20 Championships in Lima," the governing body said while confirming the appointment.

Kipchoge will start discharging his duties in January next year, and this will coincide with the announcement of the Multistakeholder Pledge on Sport for Inclusion and Protection of Refugees. This is a commitment signed by more than 100 organisations represented at the Global Refugee Forum 2023.

Global Refugee Forum

This forum is held every four years and is designed to support the practical implementation of the objectives set out in the Global Compact on Refugees, ease pressures on host countries, enhance refugee self-reliance, increase access to third-country solutions, and improve conditions in countries of origin.

The pledge by the World Athletics outlines the role that sport can play in improving refugees' lives.

The World Athletics Athlete Refugee Team is composed of athletes who have fled violence, conflict, and injustice at home, and it was founded in 2016.

The U20, which Kipchoge will mentor, was formed as a pilot in 2022 with the objective of presenting a well-prepared U20 ART for the World Athletics U20 Championships in Lima.

Janeth Jepkosgei, the 2007 world 800m champion, is the head coach of the side that is partly based in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Turkana County.

Kip Keino presents an Athlete Refugee Team athlete with their medal . PHOTO/UNHCR
Kip Keino presents an Athlete Refugee Team athlete with their medal . PHOTO/UNHCR


“In its capacity as the world governing body of athletics, World Athletics pledges to mobilize its sphere of influence to support the inclusion of refugee athletes in athletic events around the globe.

"We commit to providing them safe sport, promoting gender parity in our selection, educating them on safeguarding, and offering academic and sports scholarships," the World Athletics pledge reads in part.

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