It’s been over two months since the end of the New Riga Olympiad, but around Eiria, athletes have been working to make a difference outside of the stadiums. A number of Olympic Athletes, including big names such as Jeong Hyun-ki, Daniel Anderson, and Maya Rivera, have spearheaded fundraisers to support ‘Lei Associjācon paur Egaledzi danz Sport’, or ‘The Association for Equality in Sport’. The charity aims to give youths in impoverished areas the chance to participate in sports.
Alina Jākobsone, one of the charity’s co-founders, hosted a high-profile benefit in Merēta last week to celebrate the charity’s new start and to begin to raise money. Ever since then, millions of lunens have been pouring in from both everyday citizens to celebrities. Valerija Bouchene, a famous actress known for her action roles and rebellious personality, donated a million lunens to the charity the day after the benefit, stunning everyone and rapidly increasing the flow of donations.
At the core of these fundraising efforts has been the Eirian Olympic delegation. Dozens of Eirian Olympic athletes and coaches began hosting fundraisers for AES near the end of August, but they initially got off to a slow start. Now, with major celebrities in all fields endorsing the growing movement, their results have increased exponentially. Both major corporations and small businesses are scrambling to donate to this rapidly growing organization, creating a major publicity competition.
When asked about her feelings on the publicity war that has encircled the AES, Jākobsone was relatively supportive of the subject. “Am I frustrated that the charity is being used as a media prop? A bit. But that feeling is dwarfed by the sheer joy I get from seeing the donations pour in. I don’t care if it’s used as a prop because the attention is bringing in millions that we can spend to make a difference in Eiria. Children and teens in poorer communities often don’t have nearly as many opportunities when it comes to sporting options as middle class or wealthy communities do, and that’s a tragedy. There is so much untapped athletic talent that would normally never get revealed in poor communities. If the money raised can help them in some way, I believe it’s more than worth the publicity battle.”
Eirian Olympic Athletes of all sporting disciplines have been fervently promoting the AES. From Jeong Hyun-ki and Mathias Jansons of speed and figure skating fame, to champion diver Terence Zacari, to archery gold medalist Jacqueline Durand, Team Eiria has presented a united front in combating sports inequality. Even Max Steiner, the champion Aurian gymnast living in asylum in Serenity City, participated in a fundraising event through the Serenity Provincial Gymnastics Association. “I invite foreign athletes and coaches to found similar organizations in their own nations. If we can work together against wealth inequality in sport, we can provide new opportunities for thousands of potential olympians.” Steiner said in a social media post yesterday.
The founders of the AES have already announced the creation of several sports scholarships for impoverished athletes, as well as several equipment donation programs in poorer communities. It’s unclear whether or not the publicity and support for this up-and-coming charity will persist, but regardless, the association has the momentum to become one of the biggest charities in Eiria.