A refugee team will be taking part at Ashgabat 2017 ©Ashgabat 2017

Organisers of the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) in Ashgabat have revealed that a refugee team will be taking part.

A team comprising of four refugee athletes will be one of the 65 delegations participating in Turkmenistan's capital.

Dayanch Gulgeldiyev, chairman of the AIMAG Executive Committee, claims the decision came about after seeing the refugee team's inclusion at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

"We saw what a positive effect the Refugee Olympic Team had at Rio 2016," he said.

"We thought it would be wonderful to include a delegation of athletes at Ashgabat 2017 because of the reception they received.

"We wanted to follow the lead of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in highlighting the plight of refugees in the world."

The team will be guided at Ashgabat 2017 by Chef de Mission Tegla Loroupe, who served in the same role for the Refugee Olympic Team at Rio 2016.

Consisting of five South Sudanese, two Syrians, two from the Democratic Republic of Congo and one Ethiopian, the Rio team were designed to act as "a symbol of hope for refugees worldwide", according to the IOC.

Tegla Loroupe will act as Chef de Mission for the refugee team ©Getty Images
Tegla Loroupe will act as Chef de Mission for the refugee team ©Getty Images

"Young refugees are just like other young people," said Claude Marshall, the refugee sport coordinator for the United Nations Refugee Agency.

"They are no different and can compete like anyone else.

"The only difference is the hell they have been through being a refugee."

At Ashgabat 2017, the Olympic Council of Asia hymn will be adopted as the refugee team's anthem.

The Games are set to feature 21 sports in 15 venues during 12 days of competition.

More than 8,000 athletes and guests are expected at the event, which is scheduled to take place from September 17 to 27.