Nike is partnering with the Olympic Refuge Foundation (ORF), which looks to empower displaced people and provide them access to sports.
Through this partnership, the Swoosh will be a supporter of Terrains d’Avenir, ORF’s Paris-based program that aims to give women and young girls access to sports and provides resources to help coaches navigate working with displaced community members. The program also helps displaced people find employment.
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Nike will also outfit ORF’s IOC Refugee Olympic Team and the Refugee Athlete Scholarship Program. These programs support 63 refugee athletes across 13 sports.
“Nike is focused on expanding play and sport for girls,” said Vanessa Garcia-Brito, Nike’s chief social and community impact officer, in a statement. “Globally, girls face complex cultural and social barriers and, as a result, are moving the least. Girls enter sport later and drop out earlier — at twice the rate of boys. Our support of the Olympic Refuge Foundation aims to change that for displaced girls. With a shared belief that all kids should have access to play, we’re committed to removing barriers by providing displaced girls in Paris with strong, caring mentors and coaches who can empower them with a lifetime of confidence.”
In a statement on the Olympics website, head of the Olympic Refuge Foundation Jojo Ferris lauded the new partnership.
“The refugee Athletes we support demonstrate the resilience and courage of 110 million people who have been forced to flee their homes — they are role models inspiring millions around the world,” she said. “Sport has the potential to improve mental health and rebuild a sense of belonging for all displaced people and their communities. In all this work, the Olympic Refuge Foundation greatly appreciates the collaboration with Nike.”
Nike recently announced it had become the official apparel and footwear partner of USA Gymnastics and the USA Gymnastics National Team, the largest partnership in USA Gymnastics history. The union will start this year and extend through the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, also supporting athletes on their journeys to Paris for the 2024 Summer Games.
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