I am a football passionate and I believe that it can play an important role in community building in different ways.
Since 2014, I organise a weekly mixed football match with doctoral students from the Oxford Department of International Development and friends from other departments. It is a great moment for playing, working out and having fun. We are always inviting new friends to join the weekly match, even those who are less experienced playing.
Not so long ago my good friend Georgia Cole found out that there were a number of teenagers mainly from Eritrea who were refugees here in Oxford and who really liked to play football. So, since 2015 Georgia and I have been organising a bi-weekly football match for our Eritrean friends. They are amazing, and have so much energy! We usually invite colleagues from our doctoral programme to play, and we believe that this match is a space not only for fun but also for bringing together members of the university and refugees who are getting to know the city.
More recently, I started coaching a women’s football team, “The Foxes”. They are graduate students at the University of Oxford from Wolfson, St. Antony’s and St. Cross colleges. It has been really fun and I have learnt a lot about coaching and tactics for 11 a side games.