The Olympic Refuge Foundation and Nike To Work Together To Facilitate Access to Sport for Displaced People

Dec 8, 2023 1:00 PM ET

International Olympic Committee news

The Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF) has today announced that it will be collaborating with Nike in order to help displaced young people find belonging through sport.

The ORF and Nike have entered into an agreement, which includes making a financial contribution dedicated to supporting the ORF in its work to ensure displaced women and girls benefit from safe sport through the ORF’s flagship Terrains d’Avenir programme in Paris. The ORF and Nike will also work together to increase the capacity of coaches to provide a safe and inclusive sport environment.

As part of the agreement, Nike will also make a further in-kind donation to the Foundation for the provision of training and competition uniforms for the Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holders and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team competing at Paris 2024.

Jojo Ferris, Head of the Olympic Refuge Foundation said: “At the Olympic Refuge Foundation we want to ensure that young, displaced people around the world have access to sport and its benefits.”

She added: “The refugee Athletes we support demonstrate the resilience and courage of 110 million people who have been forced to flee their homes - they are role models inspiring millions around the world. Sport has the potential to improve mental health and rebuild a sense of belonging for all displaced people and their communities. In all this work, the Olympic Refuge Foundation greatly appreciates the collaboration with Nike.”

Making an impact in Paris and beyond

Terrains d’Avenir is the Olympic Refuge Foundation’s flagship programme in Paris. It aims to provide 7,000 young people affected by displacement with access to sport by 2025, and to shape a movement that will continue to have an impact long after the Olympic Games.

The programme is co-financed by the French Ministry of Sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, delivered by Kabubu, PLAY international, Emmaüs Solidarité, Ovale Citoyen, Fútbol Más and the Taekwondo Humanitarian Foundation, with support from the Ville de Paris, the Paris 2024 Organising Committee, the French National Olympic and Sports Committee (CNOSF) and UNHCR France.

Beyond Paris, the Olympic Refuge Foundation has an ambitious goal for one million young people affected by displacement to access safe sport by the end of 2024. So far, 215,000 young people have had access to safe sport as a result of the ORF’s work. The Foundation works through partnerships to build a movement that guarantees young people affected by displacement have access to safe sport and ensure that safe sport is widely adopted as a tool to support those affected by displacement.

Funded by Olympic Solidarity and managed by the Olympic Refuge Foundation, the Refugee Athlete Support programme gives scholarships to athletes, contributing to their training and helping these individuals to prepare for and participate in high-level competitions. To date, there are 63 Refugee Athlete Scholarship-holders being supported through the programme and training hard in order to be selected for the IOC Refugee Olympic Team for Paris 2024. They are from 12 countries and live in 23 host countries, representing 13 sports.