There will be eight who will sponsor the social project of the COE and the Government of Spain
This proposal is defined as a pioneer for all those people who through sport seek a new opportunity.
Gervasio Defer, Lydia Valentín, Joan Lino, Marta Mangué, Fermín Cacho, Tania Lamarca, Alberto Fernández and Teresa Portela are the eight athletes chosen as Olympic ambassadors from the refugee centers that the The Ministry of Inclusion and Migration plans to launch between 2024 and 2025.
With the construction of 14 new centers or the adaptation of existing facilities, the project financed with European funds Next GenerationEU seeks to expand 5,700 places reception, and also promote sport in the international protection system.
A little over a year ago, Inclusion signed a collaboration agreement with the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) for the design of the sports spaces of the new centers as it is considered a fundamental aspect for the integration of asylum seekers and their interaction with the local population.
As explained at the presentation of the ambassadors by the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escriváthe COE has visited the locations to determine how to optimize the sports areas in these centers and design spaces that encourage participation in sports by the people hosted.
“And also that it benefits the citizens and there is additional use by the inhabitants of the localities where these facilities are located,” added the minister, for whom the role of ambassadors is key in transmitting the values of sport “in the effort to integrate that refugees make”.
He president of the COE, Alejandro Blancowho recalled that the Committee participated in the construction of the first sports center for refugees in the world in Getafe (Madrid), highlighted that with this “pioneering” project all those people who through sport seek a new opportunity “not only “They will have a great future as athletes, but they will have a faster and more inclusive social life and they will feel appreciated, loved and supported in a new country.”
Regarding the election of the eight ambassadors, Blanco pointed out that they have been chosen “for who they are as people and for everything they have done for and for sport” and he trusted that this project “will be a model throughout the world.” .
“The important thing is not only to win or even to participate, the most important thing is to contribute to social improvement and sport brings out the best in each person and now we are trying to bring out the best in our society,” said the Minister of Culture and Sports. , Miquel Iceta
The eight ambassadors have been happy and proud to be part of this project. The former Spanish athlete of Cuban origin Joan Lino and the Spanish handball player of Equatoguinean origin know it first-hand. Marta Mangué.
“I integrated into Spain through sport and thanks to that I have achieved the successes that I have achieved. I have become a better person and a person who can spread those values,” Lino said, while Mangué recalled that his father came to Spain as a refugee and “thanks to that I have had a better life.”