Witness the power of unity as World Athletics and ASICS stand together to support the Athlete Refugee Team (ART) as the official sponsor.
BATHURST, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 18: Margret of Australia runs in the World Masters Championships during the World Athletics Cross Country Championships 2023 at Mount Panorama on February 18, 2023 in Bathurst, Australia. (Photo by Steve Christo)

In a powerful display of solidarity and support, World Athletics and ASICS have united to become the official sponsor of the Athlete Refugee Team (ART). This groundbreaking partnership, which took effect in June and is set to run until 2026, is set to provide training and competition kits, along with footwear, to both the elite and U20 refugee teams.

Notably, it also grants the ART athletes access to ASICS’ esteemed training facilities spread across the globe.

The Athlete Refugee Team, established in 2016 with a noble mission to offer training and competition opportunities for athletes who have endured violence, conflict, and injustice in their home countries, has made an indelible mark on the global sports stage. Its inaugural appearance as part of the Refugee Olympic Team at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro paved the way for an inspiring journey, with subsequent appearances at nearly every World Athletics Series event.

The significance of this official sponsorship lies not only in the tangible support offered by ASICS but also in the alignment of values between the two entities. ASICS’ vision of “Lifetime Athletes in All of Us” as part of their long-term aspiration “VISION2030” resonates deeply with the ethos of the Athlete Refugee Team. Furthermore, ASICS’ philosophy of promoting both mental and physical well-being mirrors the team’s resilient spirit.

World Athletics President, Sebastian Coe, expressed heartfelt gratitude for ASICS’ involvement, stating, “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 of ASICS Corporation, echoed the sentiment, saying, “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 a sound mind and a sound body through sports.”

Presently, the World Athletics refugee programme encompasses 32 athletes based in France, Germany, Israel, Kenya, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The world eagerly awaits the next appearance of this remarkable team, scheduled to captivate audiences at the World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, slated to take place from 19th to 27th August.

The partnership between ASICS and World Athletics represents a beacon of hope for the Athlete Refugee Team, offering them the resources and support to continue their inspirational journey. As these exceptional athletes continue to overcome adversity and inspire the world with their unwavering dedication, the joint efforts of World Athletics and ASICS will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping their triumphs on and off the field.

For more information about the Athlete Refugee Team, please visit its homepage on the World Athletics website.


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