Aspire | PR & Marketing services specialising in sport, health & fitness and lifestyle.

Twitter Linkedin Instagram

Tegla Loroupe’s Peace Foundation and Swiss Sports Company On support the only Athlete Refugee Team worldwide with five of its athletes competing at the IAAF World Championships in London

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND  – In early August, eyes will once again turn to the athletics track as athletes from around the world descend on London to represent their countries at the IAAF Athletics World Championships. Among the group of elite participants will be a small team of athletes with no country to represent at all; athletes who have fled the countries they once called home.

Many of us at On were first introduced to the Refugee Team during the 2016 Rio Olympics. We heard some of their stories, we watched them compete, we moved on with our lives. For those athletes though, and many others like them, this was just the beginning of building a new life — a life where dreams both on and off the track have a chance of becoming a reality.

“We are all One.”

Together with the Kenya-based Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation, On is committed to helping these South Sudanese, Somalian, Congolese and Ethiopian-born athletes achieve their dreams. As part of their on-going support, On has created the team uniform which also features the inscription ‘We are all one’ — not some catchy phrase created by a marketing department, but a wonderful expression that came straight from one of the refugee athletes.

While On is proud to support the team in their athletic journey, they know it is about so much more than running.

While focusing on their goals of becoming world-class runners, the Refugee Team athletes are also focused on building a new life for themselves. Many of them had to flee to Kenya from their home countries in desperate attempts to escape ongoing civil war and the realities of either being killed or forced into becoming child soldiers.

Charity auction at the World Championships in London

After spending time with the athletes in Kenya and in Europe leading up the London events, On hopes to share some of their remarkable stories through a series of films. Every single one is unique and touching. In the process, the films also draw attention to the fact that for these young athletes who have literally lived through and escaped war, the old (and somewhat tiresome) analogy of comparing ‘sport’ to ‘war’ is anything but true. In fact, it’s probably about as far from the truth as it gets. When they step onto the athletics track it’s not a ‘battlefield’ where they ‘crush their rivals’. It’s not about ‘victory’ and ‘defeat’. ‘Enemies’ — anything but. For them, it’s an opportunity for the world to come together and celebrate the human spirit. To show the world that ‘We are all one’.

In the lead up to the Championships, On is also running a photo competition encouraging everyday athletes to share images via Instagram of where they celebrate, or ‘unleash’ the human spirit on all those unsung athletics tracks, gyms and roads around the world. They will then display many of them at the temporary “On Embassy” at the Eight Club London in Moorgate. Renowned sports photographers such as Marcus Smith, Alexis Berg and Thomas Stöckli, along with various On sponsored athletes will also be contributing to the exhibition. A charity auction night will be held with all proceeds being donated to the Tegla Loroupe Peace Foundation on August 8th, 2017. Members of the Refugee Team, Tegla Loroupe herself and On co-founder and former pro athlete Olivier Bernhard will be present.

Who is On?

On is a young Swiss sports company based in Zurich (Switzerland), Portland (Oregon) and Yokohama (Japan). It has one simple mission: make running fun. A team of sports scientists, world-class athletes and designers spearheads this mantra.

On running shoes are winning design and technology distinctions all over the world – most recently the ISPO Product of the Year and Gold Award for the Best Performance Shoes 2017/18. World Champions and elite athletes win constantly in On.

On’s ingenious CloudTec sole is patented worldwide. Seven years after market launch, On is available from round 3’000 specialist running stores and over 50 countries in Europe, North America, South America and Asia-Pacific.

How does On’s patented CloudTec® system work?

Cushioned landing, firm push-off: that’s the core concept behind the new running shoe by On, the young Swiss-based manufacturer. A radical development, On’s patented technology combines all the benefits of a soft training shoe with a hard and fast racing flat. Land on sand, push off the track!

The secret to this bold new dual functionality lies in On’s “Clouds” – hollow pods on the sole of the shoe that stretch back on impact to cushion the landing and then lock to form the solid foundation required for a powerful push-off.

Athletes who have worn Ons and their coaches have reported greater muscle activation, new personal bests and shorter recovery times. These findings are also backed up by scientific research. Independent studies by the reputed Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland have confirmed that the patented CloudTec® system substantially reduces athletes’ heart rates and blood lactate levels.


For more information on the Athlete Refugee Team or if you’re interested in attending the charity event on 08 August please contact:

Vikki McGill I I 07507 842525 / 020 8979 9655