FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 20, 2013
Stuart Sharp, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1 404-402-4634
Abdullah Alyamani, BlazeSports In-Country Coordinator: +962 787 00 742
Sports Helps Injured Syrian Refugees and Jordanians Find Common Ground
BlazeSports, an NGO founded as the legacy of the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games, is making a difference using sport as a vehicle to increase the self esteem and social tolerance of Syrian refugees in Jordan.
AMMAN, JORDAN – As part of the World Refugee Day celebrations, 40 Syrian refugees with disabilities will attend a USAID-funded sports festival at the National Paralympic Committee of Jordan (NPCJ) sports facility on Friday June 21 from 1pm to 4pm. The Festival will mark only the second time this injured and often ostracized group have ventured out of their rehabilitation center in Amman.
The group, who is supported by the Syrian NGO “This is My Life”, was encouraged to step outside their compound for the first time after hearing of another BlazeSports and NPCJ Sports Festival held the previous week. During this festival the Syrian refugees were only spectators looking on as Jordanians with disabilities participated in a variety of adapted sporting events. However, after encouragement from BlazeSports staff and Matthew Underwood, Assistant Cultural Affairs Officer with the US Embassy, the Syrian attendees agreed to venture from their seats and speak with some of the Jordanian participants. As conversations began to develop, both groups discussed their life experiences together while finding a common ground via their love of sports.
On Friday the Syrian Refugee Disability Sports Festival will see Jordanian coaches, previously trained by BlazeSports, deliver a variety of events and use sport as a common language to convey messages of social tolerance and friendship. Stuart Sharp, BlazeSports Director of International Development, said “This was a very exciting development of our work in Jordan and truly shows the power that sport has when it comes to breaking down barriers and building social tolerance. We hope that we can now find funding to continue our efforts in Jordan to support conflict resolution and highlight areas of commonality between the people of Jordan and Syrian refugees through sport”.
Notes for Editors:
World Refugee Day:
National Paralympic Committee of Jordan
Sport City Area Al Riyadah
PO Box 960562
Pictures of BlazeSports’ USAID-funded Jordan Project: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151153977388181.445892.130742503180&type=3
About BlazeSports America
BlazeSports America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, that empowers children and adults with physical disabilities worldwide through sport. Formed in 1993, as the direct legacy of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Paralympic Games, BlazeSports programs and services encourage lifelong health, build leadership skills, foster independence and inclusion, and promote an inclusive society. For more information about BlazeSports’ international efforts, visit http://www.blazesports.org/get-involved/international-programs/.