Refugee team to compete at 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games
5th AIMAG Executive Committee Dayanch Gulgeldiyev said it was decided to have a refugee team after seeing their inclusion at the Rio 2016.
Organisers of the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games to be held in the Turkmenistan capital of Ashgabat from 17–27 September have confirmed that a refugee team will be taking part at Ashgabat 2017.
In the Olympic spirit of solidarity and uniting the world under the banner of sport, a team comprising of four refugee athletes will be one of the 65 delegations participating in the biggest ever multi-sport event to be staged in Central Asia.
The Chairman of the 5th AIMAG Executive Committee, Dayanch Gulgeldiyev, said it was decided to have a refugee team after seeing their inclusion at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
“We saw what a positive affect the Refugee Olympic Team had at Rio 2016,” he said. “We thought it would be wonderful to include a delegation of athletes at Ashgabat 2017 because of the reception they received. We wanted to follow the lead of the International Olympic Committee in highlighting the plight of refugees in the world.”
They will be guided at Ashgabat 2017 by Chef de Mission, TeglaLoroupe, a Kenyan Olympian who is also a United Nations Ambassador for Sport and Peace.
Claude Marshall, the Refugee Sport Coordinator for the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), said that the 5th AIMAG Executive Committee approached the UNHCR earlier this year about the possibility of fielding a refugee team.