I got the idea to organize a football team at the asylum centre

Boy, 17 years old, West Kurdistan (Iran).

I arrived in Denmark in 2015 with my parents and my siblings. We arrived on the train from Germany and we had tickets for the central train station in Copenhagen, but close to the border the police entered the train and took us out and asked where we wanted to seek for residence permit and we all said: “Denmark”. After that we were brought to the police station and on the same day we were taken by bus to Sandholmlejren, where we stayed for half a day, and after that we spent more than 1 year in different refugee centres.We spent 4 months in one centre, where I got new friends, one of which I still have contact with, and I also started in a language class and played some football in the afternoon but only for fun. After that we were sent to a centre in Gilleleje located in an old hospital; it was surrounded by a beautiful landscape with an amassing beach, where I would go with a towel and sit and speak with my friends in the spring and summertime. It was here that I began to get into football more seriously and would train 3 times a week as a goal keeper with a team of seniors, and after that I played as a midfielder on Gilleleje’s football team for 1 year.

After that we lived in a centre in Kalundborg, which was a very different experience: I still played football, but the experience I had while I was on a team in the city of Kalundborg was not particularly good, so I got the idea to put together a team inside the centre: I had a dialogue with the administration and they helped me make a team with 11 players, where I was the youngest one and our coach was an Arab in his 40s who would step in when one of the players had injuries.

Everybody on the team were friends and once a week we played against teams from other centres from Slagelse, Arnstrup, Roskilde and others. And our centre at Kalundborg actually arranged that we had a bus for 20 persons at our disposal, so that we could drive ourselves to our games. Once, after I had moved to Copenhagen I went back for 1 day and played with them, because they needed a player.

After Kalundborg I moved with my family to Copenhagen to a temporary housing in October 2017. I have my own room and I have my own Playstations and a television, so that I can watch football. And I also have a bicycle, but a few months ago a crashed on it and could not train with my new football team for more than 8 months.

At the temporary housing where I live now we have our own team of refugees and we play every Wednesday: I am the youngest one on the team and we play in the 4. division, and sometimes we have to play against teams that do not have especially nice attitudes towards refugees and foreigners. And our team just had a really bad experience with such a team.

However, I also play on an ordinary team outside the refugee centre: For several months I played on one team, but there were just many things that did not work and that I did not feel good about. And so my two sisters, who are equally as interested in football as I am and who both play on the same female football team, asked their coach if he could help me find another team, and so he did, And I am now playing as midfielder on a new team, where I started yesterday.

Around new year I started at a youth school, which is an ordinary language school that is placed at the centre of Copenhagen, and I like being a student there and I also have a group of friends there. I do my homework after school in the afternoon. I also work at a supermarket. I have a good relationship with my boss and I make some good money, so I can buy things for myself.

Within a couple of weeks my parents, my siblings and I will move to our own apartment and we are really looking forward to it.

Dublin Core: Language: en Subject: a million stories, denmark, kurdistan, football, soccer, refugee,