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Sport and refugees weekly: 17 October 2021

Copyrights: Lawrence OP

Sport and refugees weekly: 17 October 2021

Want to know what's happening in the world of sport and refugees? Here are the top headlines for the week ending on 17 October 2021.

Former refugee athlete Joar proves sport’s power to change lives (World Athletics)

29-year-old South Sudanese native Matthew Lam Joar was one of the first members of the Athletic Refugee Team in 2015. He switched soon after, however, to focus on his academics, and is now pursuing a year-long master’s studying refugees and forced migration at the University of Oxford. Recently, he was part of the staff of the Refugee Olympic Team that travelled to Tokyo.

St Ambroeus: Milan football club helping migrants and refugees integrate into Italian society (Euro News)

St Ambroeus is the first football team in Milan to be made up of refugees and migrants from outside of Europe which is also affiliated with the Italian Football Federation. Founded five years ago, the club aims to give refugees and migrants a chance to play football and integrate into their new lives. Yet, the club has also had to deal with the laws that have shaped the approach of the Italian state towards migration and refugees, which are often repressive and opposed to immigrants.

“Fair Chance, Fair Fight" at World Boxing Championships (sportanddev)

The International Boxing Association has unveiled “Fair Chance, Fair Fight” as the theme for the upcoming World Boxing Championships. “Fair Chance” is for those athletes that have been forced to flee their home countries, often because of conflict. Recoginising the growing issue of displacement, AIBA’s theme reinforces the need to create safe spaces for all athletes, especially those in transition.

Albanian NOC President visits Afghan refugee camp and pledges support through sport (Inside the Games)

Fidel Ylli, the President of the Albanian National Olympic Committee visited an Afghan refugee camp in the city of Durrës, along with the President of the Albanian Cycling Federation (ACF) Skender Anxhaku, ACF secretary general Alfred Tahiraj and Afghanistan Olympic Committee officials who are currently in Albania. During his visit, he pledged to organise sports competitions and activities focusing on the integration of Afghan refugees into Albanian society.

Zimbabwe supports refugees (IJF)

The Judo Association of Zimbabwe (JAZ) has joined the growing number of sport federations committed to supporting refugees around the world. Zimbabwe has joined after other regional judo associations, including Zambia and Malawi, have committed their support to refugees by establishing sport in their refugee camps. JAZ hopes to build a sport programme at the Tongogara refugee camp.

Afghan basketball star makes her debut in Spain after leaving Kabul (The New Arab)

Nilofer Bayat, captain of the Afghan women’s wheelchair basketball team, debuted for her new Spanish team, Bidaideak Bilbao BSR, just over a month after fleeing Kabul. It was her first time playing on a mixed-gender team, and she was the only woman on the Bidaideak Bilbao BSR team for their friendly match against Fundacion Vital Zuzenak.

From refugee to refuge: Faith’s Solo Sein finds sanctuary in God and soccer (FBBC Eagles)

Faith Baptist Bible College’s Soelaweh ‘Solo’ Sein came to the US when he was 15, and had never before played a game of football with shoes. Today, he is one of the country’s leading scorers in NCCAA Division II men’s soccer. For the 12 years that he lived in a refugee camp in Thailand, Solo played football every day, forming a team with his brothers and winning many games.

Don’t give up on Afghanistan’s women athletes (Thomsan Reuters Foundation)

The Taliban have suggested that they may ban women from sport. But many Afghan women see their participation in sport as a crucial part of their identity, and that banning women will have repercussions for generations to come. Despite the challenges, Afghan women inside and outside Afghanistan are looking for ways to continue staying in sport.


This information has been compiled by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.


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Monday, October 18, 2021 - 07:09

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