Sport and refugees weekly: 22 April 2022
Hussein Mohamud Hussein came to the UK in 1999, at the age of nine, after fleeing Somalia. He credits football with keeping him off the streets and stopping him from ending up in jail – when he was a teen, Hussein joined the Somali-run Waaberi FC, which disbanded in 2009 due to a lack of funding. Realising the importance of sport and youth programmes, Hussein set up Streatham FC, a community football team which serves many underprivileged children.
Dmytro Keda, who fled his hometown of Mariupol, came on as a last-minute substitute in Shakhtar Donetsk’s friendly match against Poland’s Lechia Gdansk. He scored the winning goal of the match, part of the club’s ongoing Global Tour for Peace.
Swansea City FC has joined the fifth annual ‘Football Welcomes’ campaign, which aims to welcome refugees and asylum seekers to the country through football and highlight how football can bring people together. Swansea will dedicate their next match to the campaign and invite refugee families to the stadium as special guests.
11-year-old Daniel Lysak, who fled his home near Lviv and arrived in the UK on 8 April, had the honour of leading the Gillingham FC out at Priestfield Stadium, with captain Stuart O’Keefe. Lysak also received a tour of the stadium and got a chance to meet the players and the manager of the team.
Jack Chambers, the Irish Minster of State for Sport has asked Sport Ireland and the three major sporting organisations – the FAI, IRFU and GAA – to engage at the grassroots and see how they can help Ukrainian refugees. Chambers is specifically looking for clubs that have sports halls which can host 50 or more people, with the appropriate hygiene and kitchen facilities
Alsama, a secondary school in Lebanon, is a beacon of hope for the Syrian refugee children. The Marylebone Cricket Club’s charitable arm, the MCC Foundation, funds four of Alsama’s eight cricket hubs. For these children, cricket not only provides them with structure, but also gives them transferable skills and opportunities.
This information has been compiled by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.