Wednesday, April 24, 2024

IOC Offers Scholarship to Three Judoka Refugees for Paris 2024

Immigration News

Nizamuddin Rezahi
Nizamuddin Rezahi
Nizamuddin Rezahi is a journalist and editor for Khaama Press. You may follow him @nizamrezahi on Twitter.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced that a group of refugee athletes will receive sports scholarships to train for the Olympic Games, in Paris 2024.

Among them, there are two Judoka athletes from Saria and one from Afghanistan, who are already members of the International Judo Federation (IJF).  

Niagara Shaheen was born in Afghanistan. She started judo when she was 11 and today competes in the -70kg weight category. Living as a refugee in Peshawar, Pakistan, judo and martial arts were a family tradition.

Shaheen holds a master’s degree in international trade from the Ural Federal University in Ekaterinburg. Since September 2022, she has been living in Canada, where she keeps studying and training.

As a member of the IJF Refugee Team, she took part in the Düsseldorf Grand Slam in 2020 and the Kazan Grand Slam in 2021. She was also a member of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team in Tokyo 2020, in both individual and mixed team events.

Mohamad Akkash and Adnan Khandkan are Syrian refugees who moved to Germany after the outbreak of war in Syria. They were left with no choice but to migrate to Germany to survive the war. Both athletes found passion in Judo sport and allocated their time between training and work, which now opens them with a new door of opportunity.

Being a member of the IOC Refugee Olympic Team has provided the three refugee athletes, Niagara Shaheen, Mohamad Akkash, and Adnan Khankan the opportunity to compete at the highest level and positively change the course of their lives. As refugees of war they now have the chance to appear at the Olympic games, Paris 2024, and represent refugees worldwide.

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