YOUNG refugees took part in sporting activities to develop new skills and friendships.

Children being supported by Oxford-based Asylum Welcome attended sessions by Ignite Sport, through its partnership with Oxford City Football Club.

Children living at two Oxford hotels, managed by Asylum Welcome, were invited to take part in the sessions, which helped develop teamwork and communication skills.

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Hari Reed, policy and advocacy coordinator at Asylum Welcome, said: “We’re grateful to Ignite Sport and their team of coaches for adding some festive cheer into the lives of our young refugees this Christmas.

“The children were really engaged and completed a variety of inclusive sports-based and craft activities which provided new experiences and challenges.

“Christmas should be a magical time of year for all children. Support from our partners over the festive period really helps make a difference and allows young refugees to be themselves.”

Ignite Sport coach Aliyah Anthony added: “It’s important our sessions cater for participants of all abilities and interests so we can ensure everyone has a positive experience where they can learn new skills and form friendships.

“Some participants displayed a strong interest in joining a local team which is really encouraging and demonstrates how foundation level sessions like our festive camps can inspire a new generation of young players.

“It was a great experience for me too and I enjoyed seeing how much joy our sessions brought to the faces of participants, it’s what makes being a sports coach special.”

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