Hellenic Olympic committee — Supporting displaced youth in Greece
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Displaced youths
Every month leading up to the Global Refugee Forum 2023, the Sports for Refugees Coalition (SfRC) aims to share the stories of SfRC members who are providing support to refugees through sport.

This month we are featuring the work of the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC), whose two EU-funded projects, “Kids love sports” and “Together in Sport” provided sporting activities to over 11,400 refugee and local children in Greece, fostering social inclusion, promoting social cohesion and peaceful coexistence. Through these two projects, more than 170 sporting events were organized, through the involvement of 160 volunteers and interns, giving participants a choice of more than 20 different sport offers for them to engage with. Moreover, through both projects, sports equipment valuing over €65,000,00 was donated to the involved local municipalities, schools, sports clubs and refugee accommodation facilities. This contribution aimed at ensuring that the benefits of sports will continue beyond the projects’ duration.

“Kids love sports”

Implemented by the HOC and co-funded by the European Union, the project “Kids love sports” ran from 17 January 2021 till 16 January 2023. Over the course of the project, 4,479 children, out of whom 2,266 are refugees, had the opportunity to participate in a variety of different sports in the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games were hosted. With the approval of the European Union, local children were also able to participate in the audio guide tour and sport activities at the Stadium, with the aim of strengthening social cohesion. The children had the opportunity to develop relationships of respect and teamwork among themselves. The project also connected 495 refugee children with sporting activities run by HOC volunteers and interns (from seven different Greek and foreign educational facilities) within their temporary accommodation facilities.

Following the project’s completion, a children’s e-book illustration was published to inspire the creation of similar initiatives to a wide array of sports stakeholders and society at large. The aim of this output was to promote attitudes of respect and understanding toward refugee populations. The e-book can be viewed here.

“Together in Sport”

The HOC, in cooperation with METAdrasi (coordinator) and the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), implemented a second project, “Together in Sport”. The project was funded by the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and the Asylum and the Migration and Integration Fund of the EU and ran from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2022. Its aim was to use sports to strengthen social cohesion between displaced young people and host communities. Other goals of this project included promoting mutual respect, strengthening the care provided to unaccompanied minors at local level, and promoting the development of new communication channels through sport. In addition to sporting activities, participants took part in educational, recreational and cultural activities. In total, 9,041 children and youth under the age of 18 - including unaccompanied asylum seekers - benefited from the project.

To learn more about how sport can contribute to refugees' well-being and find ways to get involved, visit the Sport for Refugees Coalition webpage or get in touch at [email protected]


All Sports
Sustainable Development Goals
10 - Reduced Inequalities
Target Group
Displaced Persons

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