Kids get a sporting chance
Yaser Hassani and his family escaped from Afghanistan, but his father was later killed in Iran. Yaser and his mother, two brothers and his sister were accepted into Australia as refugees and are learning the culture and customs of this, their new country.
This week Yaser, who is a mad-keen soccer fan, was learning about a whole range of other sports as part of the first-ever Lord's Taverners sports camp.
The Lord's Taverners is a charity that provides opportunities for disadvantaged kids to have experiences and opportunities through sport that they wouldn't otherwise get.
Yaser was one of 15 kids chosen to participate in the three-day camp that included golf at Coraki, kayaking at Evans Head, and soccer, basketball and swimming at Southern Cross University. There were plans for cricket and tennis at Goonellabah, but bad weather meant they had to move indoors for some 10 pin bowling and table tennis.
"It's so much fun," Yaser said, adding that he hopes he will one day play for Manchester United or Sydney FC.
Yaser is from Auburn in Sydney where he was voted 'Auburn Sportsperson of the Year' last year. Most of the other participants were from across the Northern Rivers, from Ballina to Woodenbong, and they were all accommodated at SCU's Magellan House.
Chairman of the Northern NSW branch, Stan Gilchrist, said although the Lord's Taverners had raised and distributed more than $10 million since their inception in 1982, supporting a range of sporting activities -this was the first time a camp such as this had been held.
"It's all about giving disadvantaged kids a sporting chance," he said. "These kids are getting the chance to experience a whole range of different sports with professional coaches."