Tasmania’s Intercultural Sports League (ICSL) is hosting the Victorian group, All Nations Cricket (ANC) for a unique tournament – the Don’t Give Up, Give Back Cup – on 8-11 January 2018 in Hobart.
The tournament includes people seeking asylum, some of who are still waiting for permanent protection, local Tasmanians, refugees and international students from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and other nationalities.
ICSL is a local community sports organization that encourages cross cultural participation through sports in Tasmania.
Currently ICSL is involved in cricket, futsal and netball tournaments and is soon launching soccer and footy tournaments in 2018 with the support of national sporting bodies.
During this four day tour, the visitors will play cricket matches with three local Tasmanian teams on cricket grounds in the Hobart region, competing in a friendly point based match.
Founder of ANC, Abdul Razzak, a cricket lover, first arrived in Australia in 2010 from Pakistan. Since 2014, ANC has recruited players from diverse nationalities especially from refugee backgrounds.
ANC plays every year in Cricket Victoria’s annual Seeker Cup tournament. And they continue a cricket program in winter to keep players engaged and socially included.
Raj Chopra from ICSL said “This tournament is in line with our core objective of bridging the gap and bringing communities together. And we encourage locals to make ANC welcome”.
Abdul said “I really want to motivate people seeking asylum to come out and engage in the community.”
“My strategy for coping with difficulty is to give back to the community, rather than give up on account of mental stress due to the uncertainty we face.”
“When my wife and I first came to Australia, we faced many challenges. We felt like victims, helpless and unable to do much. Under the current policy, we are not allowed to work or study; we don’t have medicare or income support. Without these basic things, life is very difficult for people.”
“So I decided that I would rather be victorious over my circumstances than a victim. And I wanted this for people in my situation also.”
“I love cricket, so I decided to start the All Nations Cricket Program. We do not give up, instead we give back to the community by playing a sport we love and practicing social inclusion.”
“Since we stopped giving up and started giving back, my wife and I transformed from victims to victors. My wife is much better now, and is thriving from the new purpose we have.”
And our dream is to take the ANC on a global tour, to inspire other refugees around the world to not give up, but give back.” Abdul said.