Donation of secondhand boots allows former refugee Nasim Yousofi to enjoy his new passion - soccer.ESTELLE GRIEPINK June 21, 2014 4:28pm
Asylum seeker Nasim Yousofi's enjoyment of soccer has blossomed following the donation of secondhand soccer boots.
Former refugee Nasim Yousofi knows what a big difference a pair of soccer boots can make to someone’s life.
Nasim, 17, arrived in Shepparton as an unaccompanied minor in 2008.
Previously, he had been living in Pakistan to escape the war in his homeland of Afghanistan.
‘‘When I got here, it was pretty hard,’’ Nasim said.
‘‘I didn’t know anyone and I felt lonely.’’
Nasim’s life turned around when he met Shepparton couple Luis Rodriguez and Elisabeth Dunne, who run a social soccer program for newly arrived asylum seekers.
They use their own time and money to shuttle the boys to and from soccer games as well as acting as second parents.
‘‘When I came to Australia I didn’t even know the meaning of the word soccer,’’ he said.
‘‘I was kicking other people’s legs.
‘‘I love playing soccer because I get to see the other boys and I love to kick goals.’’
Nasim plays for Tatura’s under-17 team, where he is the team’s best striker, and Wanganui Park Secondary College’s senior team, wearing a pair of secondhand boots.
He is encouraging people to donate to Asylum Sneakers, a fundraiser aimed at providing football boots to young asylum seekers who otherwise could not afford them.
‘‘I was so happy when I got my first pair of boots. They looked like (Cristiano) Ronaldo’s,’’ Nasim said.
‘‘It’ll make (young asylum seekers) feel good to get a pair of boots.’’
Refugee support network Welcome to Australia hopes to deliver hundreds of football boots to young asylum seekers.
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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