Athlete Refugee Team mixed relay members at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst (© Steve Christo)
World Athletics is delighted to announce that its partner ASICS has become the official sponsor of the Athlete Refugee Team (ART). The partnership, which took effect in June and will run until 2026, offers training and competition kits and footwear for the elite and U20 refugee teams and for the first time includes access to ASICS training facilities around the world.
Founded in 2016 to provide training and competition opportunities for athletes who had fled violence, conflict and injustice at home, members of the ART made their first competitive appearance as part of the Refugee Olympic Team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Following that debut in Brazil, the Athlete Refugee Team has competed at nearly every World Athletics Series event since.
This official sponsor contract was made possible due to ASICS’ commitment to creating “Lifetime Athletes in All of Us”, the theme of ASICS’ long-term vision “VISION2030” on top of ASICS’ philosophy of “a sound mind in a sound body”.
Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President, said: “I am deeply grateful that ASICS has stepped aboard to join us in this humanitarian venture at a time when the world is witnessing an ever-increasing influx of refugees. Our refugee team programme is making a difference in the lives of many of these talented athletes, who, through the power of our sport, are inspiring millions with their determination to overcome the challenges they’ve encountered.”
Yasuhito Hirota, President, CEO and COO, Representative Director, ASICS Corporation, said: “We are proud to be able to support the World Athletics Athlete Refugee Team. Their courage and determination give dreams and hope to people around the world. ASICS will continue to contribute to a society where anyone can achieve sound mind and sound body through sports.“
The World Athletics refugee programme is currently comprised of 32 athletes based in France, Germany, Israel, Kenya, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The team will make its next appearance at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23 that will take place from 19-27 August.
ASICS has been an Official World Athletics Partner since 2017. Underscoring its commitment to the world of athletics, this partnership was extended in 2019 through to 2029 to ensure ASICS’ involvement and presence at all World Athletics Series events.
For more information about the Athlete Refugee Team, please visit its homepage on the World Athletics website.