Peter Bol has won the 2022 Peter Norman Humanitarian Award in recognition of his charitable work ©Getty Images

Middle-distance runner Peter Bol, who escaped civil war in Sudan before going on to represent Australia at two Olympics and claim a Commonwealth Games medal, has been recognised for his charitable work.

Bol has been named as the winner of this year’s Peter Norman Humanitarian Award by Athletics Australia.

Over the past 18 months, Bol competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, World Athletics Championships in Oregon and Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games where he secured men's 800 metres silver.

But it is his work helping underprivileged children that has seen him gain the Peter Norman Humanitarian Award.

Bol has worked at a number of charities including Youth Activating Youth and Pushing Barriers where he has spent time mentoring young people through sports.

He also supports the Sudanese Saturday School in Melbourne by helping pupils who don’t speak English at home with their schoolwork and runs workshops at the Bachar Houli Academy.

"Peter lifted the entire nation with his grace at the Tokyo Olympics and became a symbol of what we as a nation can aspire to be," said Jane Flemming, chair of Athletics Australia's Special Awards Committee.

"His youth work takes this to another level completely.

"Peter's contributions to charities such as Youth Activating Youth and Pushing Barriers, and even leaning on his own lived experience to help Sudanese children, whose parents don't always speak English, with their homework is truly inspiring.

"We’re incredibly proud to have Peter as part of the Australian athletics community, and we couldn’t think of a better candidate for this year’s award."

Sudan-born Bol claimed men's 800m silver at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images
Sudan-born Bol claimed men's 800m silver at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games ©Getty Images

Born in Khartoum in Sudan, Bol and his family were forced to leave their home country at a time of civil war.

They arrived in Egypt as refugees and settled there for four years before migrating to Australia when Bol was just 10 years old.

Following his introduction to athletics while at school, Bol has gone from strength to strength, competing at the Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

"My work comes from a combination of my upbringing and my family values, but I got my start in athletics through a lot of help," said Bol.

"My teacher introduced me to athletics, introduced me to a coach and it took me a long time to get to where I am, but I’m there because of all the help I've had.

"I've always wanted to give back and help bring opportunities to more vulnerable people.

"The first time I did this sort of work was right after school when I travelled to Leonora and it's always been something that's very rewarding.

"You get a lot of gratitude from teachers and from the organisations you help, but no one really understands how much purpose it gives me and how it motivates me for the next season."

Created in 2018, Peter Norman Humanitarian Award aims to honour the legacy of Norman as an athlete and advocate for human rights.

Norman claimed men's 200m silver at the Mexico City 1968 Olympics and is famed for his support of black American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos who raised their fists in a Black Power salute on the podium.