AIBA President Kremlev commits to working to support refugees

In the latest boxing news, International Boxing Association (AIBA) President Umar Kremlev met with Senior Refugee Sports Coordinator Nick Sore and Megumi Aoyama, External Relations Officer from UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency, in Lausanne at AIBA Headquarters where they discussed the important role that boxing can play in supporting refugees around the globe.

Boxing can play a positive role in the lives of refugees and displaced people around the world. We have all the opportunities, including financial, to help refugees. I want to start our action as soon as possible,’ said AIBA President Kremlev. ‘Our intention is to extend our cooperation. We need to create a program where boxing will help people in need.’

President Kremlev also said that the most important thing is to deliver assistance for those who need it.

‘Not only do we need to provide sports equipment and sport and training opportunities, but also life-saving assistance where needed. It will help refugees to find a positive path. We need to ensure that all can benefit from this support and we do not separate people based on their gender, race or religion; we respect all values,’ AIBA President Kremlev added.

AIBA Secretary General Mr. István Kovács emphasized that the sport of boxing helps people from all communities and does not discriminate. Further adding that boxing has played a very significant role for those hailing from marginalized communities in the past.

‘We have so many stories where people from humble backgrounds became huge stars. They are role models for others. We can support talent within refugee communities who could become great champions. In the end, this can lead them to a better life,’ he said.

Mr. Sore shared how he had watched the sport growing up and recognized the opportunities, the potential and values which it can provide for athletes.

‘Humanitarian organizations often focus on providing life-saving assistance such as shelter and health care, first.  However, we recognize that sport plays a significant role in young people’s well-being. Sport can fill some of the learning and development gaps that displaced communities so often experience such as access to formal education. That’s why we are keen to engage with sports federations and other sports organizations,’ he added.

Through boxing, both AIBA and UNHCR are exploring initial cooperation in Europe which will promote integration into host communities through the sport. With a pilot scheduled for the second half of 2021, AIBA has committed towards providing all necessary equipment for training and other activities.


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