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Some 75,000 items of casual and sports clothing were collected from the Olympic family in the run-up to and during the Olympic Games in Beijing, as part of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s Giving is Winning Campaign. This is more than double the results of the first edition organised during the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
The campaign aimed to facilitate the organisation of sports activities in refugee camps, providing a semblance of normality, hope and structure to lives that have been disrupted by conflict. Feedback has shown that, especially for young refugees, the gift of sportswear associated with famous athletes is a tremendous morale-booster and a sign that the outside world does still care. Jointly implemented by the IOC and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the clothes collected were distributed to various camps in Europe, Asia and Africa.
“I am thrilled by this success and the strong support of the Olympic family. This campaign is an excellent example of how sport can bring a little joy to people living very difficult lives,” enthused IOC President Jacques Rogge. “We will continue to ensure sport has a role to play for those ravaged by war and disease, and who are disadvantaged and marginalised.”
Athletes and National Olympic Committees (NOCs) were the most eager donors. Huge donations were made by the British Olympic Association, the Australian and US Olympic Committees and the NOC of the United Arab Emirates. Singapore’s donation, which included items from local schoolchildren. The German NOC developed a special “athlete passport” that also dedicated one section to “Giving is Winning”. Two IOC members, Mario Vázquez Raña and HRH Princess Hayat Bint Al Hussein, donated generously to the campaign.
FOCUS - The IOC and Human Development (July 2007)
Giving is Winning - leaflet in 6 languages