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Football Tournament Kicks-Off Derby’s Refugee Week Festival

DCCT participants share a smile at full-time

The Euros aren’t the only tournament kicking off this month, Derby Refugee Week 2024 Champions Cup kicked off on Wednesday, June 19th to celebrate Refugee Week 2024 in Derby.

A number of organisations have worked together to host a Refugee Friendly Football Tournament at the brand-new state of the art Derby Racecourse Hub Facility.

The tournament brought together a diverse group of participants, featuring 12 teams made up of asylum seekers and refugees living in Derbyshire and Leicestershire. Players hailed from countries including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Namibia, Somalia, Sudan, and South Sudan, with up to 100 players invited in total. 

The event’s lead organisers were Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity and Derby County Community Trust, with significant support from Derby City Council, Active Derbyshire, Leisure United, Community Action Derby, DE23 Active and Migrant Help.

"We're proud to host this Refugee Friendly Football Tournament to warmly welcome and stand united with our asylum seeker and refugee communities, celebrate their talent and showcase their resilience.

More than a sporting event, it's an opportunity to bring people together, promote understanding, and show solidarity with those who have overcome immense challenges and traumas in their lives."

Charlie Stevens, DRS

Beyond celebrating Refugee Week, the tournament aimed to provide physical and mental wellbeing benefits through sporting participation. It also offered important social opportunities for communities that have been forced to leave their families, homes and countries.

"Sports and physical activity has the power to unite people from all backgrounds. This football festival fosters friendship, cooperation and healthy competition in the spirit of compassion and love."

Helen Britten, Community Action Derby

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