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Australian program helps refugees towards a career in sports

Australian program helps young refugees towards a career in sports   -  
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In Australia's Queensland state, a program designed to help refugees is providing them with access to a career in sports.

From now on, thanks to the "Pushing Barriers" program, young players with a refugee background don't have to worry about transport and club fees. 

Some like Maler Jongkuch-Ayuen see it as a great opportunity.

"I want to become a professional footballer. It's a good chance", said the young hopeful.

Maler, like his older brother, spent the first five years of his life in a refugee camp in Kenya.

"I think it's even (more, Ed.) crucial for us who come from overseas and we've left our families and friends, and we have to kind of come and rebuild again", said Maler's older brother, David Jongkuch-Ayuen.

The program helps the two brothers along with another 40 players who can now practice football in a club in the west of Brisbane.

"Many of the young people didn't have the capacity to play at clubs because their parents didn't have the money to pay for club fees and transport was also quite a big issue", explained "Pushing Barriers" CEO, Tracy Tucker.

For local clubs involved in this initiative, it's all about attracting the best talent.

Centenary Stormers club president, Belinda Fisher, added "it's an amazing experience. I mean, at the end of the day, I want to see people on the ground, I want to see kids kicking soccer balls, I want to see the fun and joy in their faces".

In total, the "Pushing Barriers" program is helping more than 80 players in Brisbane and is already looking to expand south of the city next year.

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