Football has no borders!
Yesterday was our first Freedom F.C training session with the guys from Vasilika camp in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The men in the camp have been pretty down and bored recently, and ITCHING to play, so Dan pulled some strings and found a training ground available twice a week!
Our special team represents seven different nationalities: Lebanese, Pakistani, Algerian, Yemeni, Iraqi, Syrian, and Egyptian. It’s been so great to see such a diverse group coming together. Any prejudice they might have shown each other within the camp disappeared on the pitch entirely.
This is not just about playing football…but about respect and equality.
The guys first collected their kit from Eko and walked to the pitch together. The amazing coach, (the one and only Dan Teuma…is there anything he cant do!?) took them through a warm up, stretching, some training exercises and a small game at the end of the session. The guys took it really seriously and were keen to learn. They listened and played well.
This is an ongoing project for at least the next 6-8 weeks with the aim of Freedom F.C playing against local teams.
It was great to get the guys moving as a lot of them have been complaining of pains due to lack of physical exercise / sleeping on the floor since living in Vasilika camp.
Exercise is also a great tool to tackle mental heath and boredom… the main issues affecting these people stuck in Greece.
The guys worked hard and respected the experience and each other entirely. It was a great success and everyone is very excited for the future training sessions.
We are so incredibly proud of this group of young men, they are committed, fun to work with and they have grabbed the opportunity provided with both hands (and feet).
A massive thank you to Megan Majd and The Refugee Relief Project for their football kit donations. They provided us with brand new balls, cones, bibs and gloves.
We still need more kit and would love to get the guys football boots.