Using “Trainers Without Frontiers: Keep running, keep donating” as its motto, Marathon Team Greece by Maria Polyzou is collecting old and used trainers to offer them to refugees and migrants in Athens.
“It’s such a shame to have old shoes end up in the bin, when they can offer joy and relief to other people, children and adults, who may not have been as lucky as we are for whatever reason,” said the founder of the Athens-based runners’ team, Maria Polyzou, Greece’s Marathon champion and record holder.
“Even more so when this concerns people who have worn out or soaked their own shoes in their effort to run away from war and oppression, and have arrived here with their very dignity under threat,” she added.
The trainers to be collected will be delivered during a special visit by the team at the Open Center for Refugees at Elaionas, western Athens on May 28, with Polyzou noting that “we don’t just remember the migrants at Elaionas when the Olympic Flame comes by. We stretch our hand with love, holding and offering whatever we can to them.”
The “Trainers Without Frontiers” initiative forms part of Marathon Team Greece’s program of social solidarity titled “42,195”, in reference to the meters of the Marathon distance.
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