Hello Admir! Tell us more about yourself.
I’m the founder of the organisation Sports without Borders (Idrott Utan Gränser). I came to Sweden as a refugee child in the 1990s and lived in a segregated area. It felt to me as if there were few opportunities and it was easy to head down the wrong path. Sport was my salvation. For 10 years I worked with children and young people and tried to get children to be seen and acknowledged through Sports without Borders. I never imagined that I would leave Landskrona until the day I got a letter from the Royal Palace telling me that I had been nominated for an award as the best leader in the voluntary sector. And out of the hundreds nominated it was me who received the royal award for my work and got to shake hands with the king. In 2014 I was also honoured to be awarded the title of best social entrepreneur.
How has Sports without Borders developed in the 2018 academic year?
Nationally, we saw massive growth of 629 percent! We now reach 26,553 children and young people every week all over Sweden. Things also went very well in Gothenburg. We have managed to reach more schools, and especially girls, as 52 young girls joined us to start playing football. The number of participants in other sports also increased and we have seen much more active participation in general in Gothenburg. Young people come along, try it out, take part and stay. We have also given several young leaders their first full-time job. Most of the leaders are excluded from the labour market in some way, but they are very talented and can relate to and inspire the children. So, as well as inspiring the kids through meaningful leisure activities in school and after school, they also become more employable in the labour market by getting their first job.
What are your plans for next year? Any new developments or ideas?
The City of Gothenburg gave us a good evaluation, which confirms the value of our important work. We have also seen clear impacts from other assessments and from schools. The kids are not products; it’s all about building relationships and working sustainably for the long term. Looking ahead to next year we are hoping to work closely with more companies and get a long-term agreement with the City of Gothenburg. Right now, the organisation is working in several areas, but the main focus is Norra Hisingen. I want to develop activities in more areas and get more children to be seen and acknowledged.