A group of refugees who were cyclists in Syria have the opportunity to resume training in Berlin. Angela Moore reports.
Syrian refugees resume cycling training in Berlin
They were racing cyclists in Syria – but the civil war put the brakes on any hope for competitions.
Now living in Germany, these five men have the opportunity to resume their training in Berlin.
SOUNDBITE: Klaus Boeger, Berlin State Sports Federation President, saying (German):
“The idea came from these Syrian athletes. They stood here in front of this hall one morning and said they wanted to cycle – that they were racing cyclists in their homeland. So that’s how it happened. The trainer made them the offer to ride here today. He also provided them with bikes. So this is an example, maybe a special example, of sports facilities for refugees.”
The Berlin State Sports Federation also gave the men clothing, shoes and helmets and is working to find them a permanent trainer.
Syrian refugee Tarek Al-Maqa said it feels good to back on a bicycle.
SOUNDBITE: Tarek Al-Maqa, Syrian refugee, saying (English):
“We have a great feeling. We are starting training, after two months we are stopping, we are going from our country from two months. We stopped training and right now we are come back to train, it’s a great feeling. We want to train every day, every single day, we don’t have anything right now, only the training and we are studying.”
The men hope the training will put them on course to race in a world championship.
Until then, the Germans and Syrians will work together, united in their love of sport.