Running Shoe Manufacturer On Sponsors Refugees at the IAAF World Championships

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The IAAF World Championships in London (from August 4th to 13th) will also feature a team of refugees – the Athlete Refugee Team (ART). The athletes will be sponsored by Swiss running shoe producer On so that the refugees from South Sudan and Ethiopia will be able to compete with the sporting elite from across the world in London’s Olympic Stadium.

On sportswear is at the start line: The Athlete Refugee Team
On sportswear is at the start line: The Athlete Refugee Team

The five athletes, who have qualified for the 5,000m, 1,500m and 800m, have not just been given their shoes for the competition. The sports clothing manufacturer, which in 2017 was given the PRODUCT OF THE YEAR ISPO AWARD in the performance segment for their Cloudflash model, “is also supporting the team with a range of clothing developed specifically for them,” says On co-founder Olivier Bernhard, himself a former professional sportsman. “On is extremely proud to be a part of the history of this team.”

Runner Loroupe’s Refugee Team is Supported by On and the IAAF

The blue-black cladded ART is spearheaded by IAAF Ambassador Tegla Loroupe. The Kenyan long-distance runner was Chef de Mission of the Refugee Olympic Team at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The 5 competitors are:

  • Dominic Lokinyomo (male, 1500m, South Sudan)
  • Anjelina Nadai (female, 1500m, South Sudan)
  • Rose Lokonyen (female, 800m, South Sudan)
  • Kadar Omar (male, 5000m, Ethiopia) 
  • Bashir Ahmed (male, 800m, Somalia)

The former marathon record holder Tegla Loroupe runs a training camp in Kenya for displaced persons. ART trained there as well. All five have regularly qualified well within the set standard at official heats, says On co-founder Olivier Bernhard.

Their participation in the World Championships was finally made possible thanks to financial support from the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation). And thanks to the footwear company On. With a benefit auction on 08.08.2017, the company wants to ensure that the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation is able to cover the preparation and travel costs for the World Championships in the British capital.

Author: Christopher Eichfelder