• Afghan refugee cricketer receives award from sporting icons

Afghan refugee cricketer receives award from sporting icons

30 July 2012

David Beckham and Muhammad Ali took to the stage in London to present the inaugural Generation Ali Beyond Sport Award to a young Afghan refugee, Matiullah Haidar.  The award recognises service, leadership and action in the community.

Matiullah, 19, fled to the UK four years ago after most of his family were killed in the Afghan conflict.  He has gone from speaking no English to being a translator for the Refugee Cricket Project.  He also works with Cricket For Change to help select teams for fixtures and coaches sport.  He and his fellow award nominees will be flown to the US to attend the Beyond Sport United conference at Yankee Stadium in New York in November.

Another Afghan sports project was also honoured at the London awards ceremony.  Skateistan, a charity which teaches young Afghans both skateboarding skills and wider academic subjects, received the Innovation Through Sport award.

Beyond Sport is a global initiative which seeks to celebrate and support any organisation or individual aiming to drive positive social change through sport.