IPF is pleased to announce a new partnership as its IPF “Peace Through Parkour” initiative (Athens, Greece division) will also begin a new cooperation with the non-profit “Yoga and Sport for Refugees” as they will add Parkour to their roster. David Thompson, IPF Secretary General and Founder/Director of the #PeaceThroughParkour initiative in 2009, said this week, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Yoga and Sport with Refugees as part of our Peace Through Parkour initiative. YSR has been on the ground in Greece for many years and we have many of the same goals. Education is the key for refugees to achieve their dreams for their future and Parkour and other sports help them gain the confidence they need to achieve those goals.” YSR founder Estelle Jean and co-director Nina de Winter will also join IPF’s Peace Through Parkour advisory committee. YSR will be working closely with IPF athlete ambassadors from the Parkour refugee community who now live in Greece and will be serving as instructors and advisors.
About Yoga and Sport for Refugees
Yoga and Sport for Refugees was established in 2017 on Lesvos. The organization empowers refugees and migrants through sports, integrates them into the community, and improves their physical and mental health. The organization is currently active on Lesvos and in Athens, offering multiple sports activities in both locations. The activities are divided over 6 main projects; yoga, the gym, swimming, running, field sports and women activities. The organization offers safe spaces, where everyone can come to exercise and where we break ethnic and religious barriers. One of the fundamental objectives is to get refugees from being users of sports activities to trainers in charge of their own projects, so that they can be integrated into the community and gain self-confidence.
IPF President Victor Bevine also weighed in on the collaboration, “Parkour is a mind-body discipline like Yoga, with huge appeal among young people. Anything we can do to help empower them to overcome the mental and emotional obstacles they’re facing as refugees would be a positive step.”
Estelle Jean, Founder, ED of Yoga and Sport for Regugees
Estelle Jean, founder and executive director is based on Lesvos, Greece. Estelle is a humanitarian worker and a passionate athlete. She holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and Management from the ISMaPP-Paris. She was an accomplished equestrian for 18 years and a competitive swimmer for 8 years. She now runs marathons and competes in amateur Muay Thai fights.
Estelle founded YSR to raise awareness of the positive impact of sport for all people, especially displaced populations. Her passion spreads virally among her peers and creates a community. Besides managing the day to day operations of YSR, she also teaches women sports and swimming, supports the coordination team and tries to always be there for the refugee teachers and the community.
Nina de Winter, Co-Director of Yoga and Sport for Refugees
Nina has joined Yoga and Sport in the summer of 2019. She first came as a running coach, but quickly became way more involved. She has a background in International Relations and European Education.
She is running since she is a little girl and never stopped. She is the coach of our running team on Lesvos and she is always happy to support our coach Morteza Alimi, in Athens.
Nina is based on Lesvos, working everyday on the organizational part of the NGO: she takes care of the finances and fundraising, as well as many other tasks to always support Estelle.
In Yoga and Sport, Nina found her second family, she became part of the community and she strives to create more of this everyday.