Former Kenyan runner calls for support to refugee team at Asian Games

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Former Kenyan long-distance runner, Tegla Loroupe, has called for more support for the refugee team camped in Kenya, that is also participating in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

The team made up of five athletes is competing alongside 65 countries in the event in the Asian Games.

The team supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), in conjunction with the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) had made a maiden international appearance in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The ex-runner, whom through her TeglaLoroupe Foundation organised the team to both tournaments, said that finance had been a major challenge to the team.

“We are looking for more supporters at the moment to give the refugees better equipment, medicals, scholarships and also allowance because the athletes are breadwinners of their families.”

“We have encouraged them to go to school. This is just creating an opportunity for our athletes to be ambassadors, because anyone can be a refugee,” she said.

Loroupe also said that the athletes are participating in the 800 metres, 400, 3,000 and 1500 metres races in the event which began on Sunday to end on September 27.

Author: Alieu Ceesay in Ashgabat,Turkmenistan