Changing Lives FC: The UK’s first migrant football team


Manage episode 278284444 series 1436309
By SportSpiel and Alasdair Hooper. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.
Changing Lives FC are a football team with a story. Every training session, and during every game, you can hear around a dozen different languages – that’s because each member of the squad is a migrant, refugee or asylum seeker. All of them have fled war, terror or they are in desperate search for a better life. They are all young men who would be extremely vulnerable if left to fend for themselves. Joining us on this podcast is their manager David Simmons, a PE teacher living in Harlow, in Essex, who is also the founder of Changing Lives Community Services – a project dedicated to keeping vulnerable youngsters out of the hands of gangs and violence. David is no stranger to extraordinary journeys – he was once threatened by a six-year-old with a knife, which is partly what motivated him to step up and make a difference. But this football team has been a challenge like no other. Getting a group of players who don’t all speak the same language is difficult enough in itself but that’s made all the more harder by the discrimination that swirls them. According to David, the team have been plagued by incidents of racist abuse and further discrimination from some opponents – he has even had to invest in a video camera he feels he needs to protect his players. As David says – racism is still happening every Sunday, and it’s something that needs kicking out of the game. Messages Follow us on Twitter - Like us on Facebook - Follow us on Instagram - Get in touch: Visit our website: Credits Images: With thanks to Changing Lives FC Music: Otis McDonald

130 episodes