Badminton Puts Smiles Back on Syrian Refugee Children’s Faces | Camps to Champs


My name is Mustafa Awad.
I am from Syria. Sport means a lot to me.
It’s everything to me. It means everything in my life,
especially badminton. Because I grew up playing it. (CAMPS TO CHAMPS) (THE POWER OF SPORT
FOR THE DISPLACED) (ELEONAS REFUGEE CAMP, ATHENS) (ELEONAS IS
A GOVERNMENT-RUN CAMP (HOUSING AROUND 2,000 REFUGEES) When we left our country, we didn’t think of it
as seeking refuge. For us, it’s not seeking
refuge, it’s a passage. Back home I thought I would die
from sadness for the children. I was very hesitant
about exposing them to danger. There was a big possibility
that the dinghy might sink. Lots of dinghies have sunk
and many people have died. I was so sad for the children,
I felt like I was going to die. We were so upset in the dinghy. (WITH SOME DONATED RACKETS,
MUSTAFA RECENTLY STARTED (BADMINTON COACHING
FOR THE CHILDREN) Here in the camp, I would like everyone to play
sports, the young and the old. Because sport can relieve them of the pressure,
boredom and depression. With sports we feel happiness and forget everything
that has happened before. Sport means everything to me. It’s the most important thing
in my life, especially badminton,
because I grew up playing it. (SIZWE NDLOVU (RSA) ROWING,
LONDON 2012 GOLD MEDALLIST) (SIZWE IS VISITING THE CAMP) Hi, how are you?
My name is Sizwe. – Mustafa.
– Thank you. Nice to meet you. Sport is number one
in our country. We love sports very much. From childhood,
we loved sports. Because it builds bodies
and educates minds. What is it like
to live in this camp? When we came here,
our circumstances changed. We’re trying
to get over ourselves and get out of this situation, to try and do something here. I tried to help the children to forget a little bit the pressure, the depression,
the boredom. There’s a lot of boredom. So I tried to do
some sports here. And I’m going to train
here in the camp. I have a few children,
girls and boys, young and old. I’ll start training them. Hopefully
we’ll have a nice little team. And the atmosphere will be
really good with sport. Always like this. If you think I’ll be out of
breath, I am not yet! That’s pretty good. Just warming up. Sizwe is leading. He’s very good, he’s a coach,
he’s a professional. I’ve learnt some good lessons
from him. Sport is really important
to me. Without sport,
I wouldn’t be where I am. It took a lot of hard work.
A lot of perseverance. I’m here today
to show you my medal to encourage you
to keep going in sport. You should try this on because you are really
a champion in badminton. You look good. Sport doesn’t differentiate
between any religion or race. Sport brings
love and familiarity between a group of people. So our final aim is to create
love between the children.

10 thoughts on “Badminton Puts Smiles Back on Syrian Refugee Children’s Faces | Camps to Champs

  1. It's great! Sports, unite people and watching this video inspires me to train harder in badminton! ( I play badminton )

  2. Wait 10 years & these kids are gonna be in the Olympics They just gave them the inspiration & drive to keep going. That little girl is gonna look back, see the pic of herself wearing his medal then have her own around her neck

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