The Somali bandy team soon to jet-off to Siberia
After months of planning and preparation, bureaucratic wrangles and film shoots, training and practice matches, a group of Somali refugees living in the small town of Borlänge, are just days away from making history. This weekend, the squad of 22 jet-off to Irkutsk in Siberia to take part in the World Bandy Championships, becoming the first ever African nation to participitate in this winter sport dominated by Sweden, Russia and Finland.
After travelling to Stockholm on Thursday to be interviewed by officials at the Russian Embassy, one of the players, 18-year-old forward Ahmed Kaysa Sadiiq spoke to Radio Sweden. he said:"If we lose 100-0, we will never give-up. We want to show the world that we can do something."
The Somalian refugees in Borlänge only began learning to ice-skate six months ago after team manager and native resident of the town, Patrik Andersson, said that he wanted to help integrate Swedes and Somliians living there.
Ahmed Kaysa Sadiiq told Radio Sweden that since the project began, attitudes in the town have changed.
"We set out to build bridges and we have achieved that. The Swedes have welcomed us and are supporting us," Sadiiq says.