International Sports Federations voice support for refugees on World Refugee Day
To mark World Refugee Day this past weekend, International Sports Federations (IFs) voiced their support for refugees and encouraged the global sports community to continue working together to protect and support the nearly 80 million people displaced around the world.
Under the theme of “Everyone can make a difference. Every action counts,” the Day provided the sports community with the opportunity to raise awareness for the plight of refugees around the world and of the ongoing efforts to protect their human rights.
“As a close community, sport has an incredibly powerful platform to support the nearly 80 million people displaced around the world. I am therefore delighted that so many of our Members took to social media and activated campaigns to mark World Refugee Day and encourage a collective effort,” GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli said.
World Taekwondo hosted a video call with young taekwondo practitioners from the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan on the eve of World Refugee Day, celebrating their talent and the opportunities provided by their involvement in sport. World Taekwondo President Chungwon Choue opened the call and praised the young practitioners for their performances and dedication to taekwondo.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) shared a powerful video demonstrating how cricket is having an invaluable impact on refugees worldwide and uniting communities. The IF also shared a web story on how cricket has helped Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon through the expansion of its cricket camps that began in 2018 to other communities.
To mark @UN #WorldRefugeeDay 2020, here are some examples of how cricket is being used as a source for good to help shape healthy, active and caring societies around the world ❣️ pic.twitter.com/3SRXLBZUik
— ICC (@ICC) June 20, 2020
In addition, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) took the opportunity to thank their project leaders and coaches who work tirelessly to build dignity and hope in communities. In particular, the ITTF thanked coaches who have continued to provide online sessions for refugee camps in Jordan in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) reiterated its commitment to using the unique power of baseball-softball to foster social cohesion and boost the mental and physical wellbeing of the displaced. Moreover, the IF highlighted how its low-cost discipline, Baseball5, is helping to take baseball-softball to places where accessibility to sport is desperately needed.
The Badminton World Federation (BWF) reiterated its continued commitment towards humanitarian causes and highlighted its BWF Shuttle Time Schools programme, a training course to educate Syrian refugees as badminton teachers.
The International Chess Federation (FIDE) also promoted its work to ensure that chess is an accessible and inclusive sport for all. For example, the IF and the Asian Chess Federation, in collaboration with one of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) schools in Amman, organised a nine-day virtual Asia Chess Academy for 45 students with no prior experience of playing chess.
Within the #chess program devoted to refugees, Asia Chess Academy conducted an intensive training course for 45 students that lasted 9 days. It targeted children with no previous experience or knowledge about the game.
— International Chess Federation (@FIDE_chess) June 21, 2020
Finally, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) highlighted how, over the last three years, the FIBA Open Tournament has integrated refugee athletes and increasingly provided opportunities for them to play.