Olympic Refugees Team raring to go ahead of the Tokyo games

Written By: Bernard Okumu

Tegla Lorupe in a practise session with the Refugees Team in Ngong.The refugees team is set to feature in this year's Olympic Games in Tokyo,Japan.

 

A Kenyan team of refugees will compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games as part of the 55 refugee athlete scholarship-holders worldwide who will carry the flag of the Refugee Olympic Team in Japan.

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The athletes who train at  the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation (TLPF) based in Ngong, Kajiado County  are scholarship holders supported by IOC’s Olympic Solidarity fund.

Through her Foundation, Tegla Loroupe ,a former Women’s Marathon world record holder, took the first team of ten athletes to the Olympics in Rio in 2016, where she also acted as the team’s Chef-De-Mission.

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She is set to play the same role when the refugees  team participates at the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. She will be assisted by Deputy Chef de Mission Stephen Pattison from the UNHCR.

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NOC-K President Paul Tergat announced the Committee will register Tegla Lorupe Peace Foundation as a member of NOC-K

 

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The athletes are refugees from various nations including, South Sudan, Somalia & DRC and also some reformed warriors from Kenyan communities, most of whom were recruited from the Tegla Loroupe Peace Runs in refugee camps and West Pokot.

The refugee athletes will be involved in Olympics Kenya programs, including vaccination, qualification events, capacity building & career transition.

NOCK President Paul Tergat  was last month appointed to the board of the recently formed Olympic Refugee Foundation, which gives a boost to the program in Kenya, leveraging sport to protect and support young people affected by displacement in this region.

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Tergat promised to incorporate the Refugees team to the National Olympic Committee of Kenya, NOC-K.

 

Members of the Refugees team.

‘’It’s Very critical to us and going forward we are going to have the Tegla Lorupe peace Foundation as one of our member federations of the national Olympic committee’’,Tergat said.

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