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Sporting students’ cultural exchange

 March 27, 2020 | Simon Jenkins

Our student sports teams are forging positive relationships in the local community, thanks to your support.

The Gryphons in the Community programme allows students involved with University teams to bring sport to disadvantaged groups such as refugees, and young people from the city’s more deprived areas.

Thanks to your support, last year around 20 student volunteers delivered over 200 hours of volunteering, through which 200 members of the Leeds community took part in educational and physical activities to support their wellbeing.

In one project, students worked alongside Leeds Refugee Forum which helps refugees and asylum seekers to settle in Leeds. Working with unaccompanied minors from countries such as Syria, Eritrea and Sudan, the students delivered English language tuition, helped with exam revision – and organised fun football sessions.

Forum Director Ali Mahgoub stresses the importance of the work: “Integration through sport and education is an important part of what we do. The students exposed our young refugees to different cultures and allowed them to practise their English conversation skills.”

Bonds were formed between students and refugees who each benefited from the cultural exchange. “It was interesting, eye-opening and something I would love to do again,” says volunteer Emma Samways.

Your generosity helped this and four other community projects to
thrive and become sustainable, while giving the student volunteers the chance to develop their interpersonal and management skills and study for First Aid and Sports Leadership qualifications. Find out more.

Sporting students’ cultural exchange