AEGEE-Tilburg’s International Champions League

By | July 6, 2017 at 8:00 am | Network | Tags: , , , , , ,

For the third time AEGEE-Tilburg organised the International Champions League. The ICL is a sports event where students and refugees spend a day together by attending a football tournament and several other sports and games like badminton, table tennis, chess and others. 



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Refugees in the Netherlands all have one thing in common, which is the long wait for a permanent residence permit and an actual house and job to start building a new future. Even though refugees get shelter in asylum shelters they experience isolation and social limitations within.

By organising a sports event with students and refugees, AEGEE-Tilburg offers both the opportunity to informally meet new cultures and a day of relaxation and sports so they can have the time of their lives and forget the struggles they are facing.


Migration & Europe

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A strong Europe is built upon the foundations of respect, tolerance and solidarity. By creating dialogue between people and communities with a sports event, AEGEE-Tilburg believes they can break stereotypes and prejudices. Among migration intentions there is the need to increase awareness about the situation of refugees in Europe and the challenges they are facing. The example from Tilburg shows that it is possible to build a better narrative towards them by bringing these people together and offering them the possibility to interact and exchange experiences personally.


Outcome of the event

In the afternoon of Saturday, the 20th of May, the ICL started. Beforehand, several student and refugee teams subscribed to attend the event and play against each other in the football tournament. Some teams consisted of solely students or refugees and others were mixed. The teams didn’t have age restrictions so there were from 11 years-old to 30 years-old participants trying to be the champion team of the day.

After playing some matches some teams could play other sports to relax and socialise with each other. Free snacks and drinks were provided during the event.

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During the break the winners of the lottery were announced. Participants could buy lottery tickets before the event with which they could win prizes like tickets to the UEFA Women’s European Championship. The revenues of this lottery were used to buy sports equipment and food during the day for the refugees so as to keep this event free for them.

After several rounds it was time for the final in which the two resting teams played against each other for the fiercely desired trophy. After the final whistle all the teams congratulated the winning team.

In the evening everyone was resting from the tiredness of the day and anticipating their highlight of the day, pizza!

In the end participants were extremely satisfied of the event and organisers were frequently asked when the next event was going to be organised. During the event everyone got the opportunity to speak with each other but also become friends and teammates cheering for and supporting each other. Several students and refugees went on adding each other on Facebook to stay in contact.

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The organisers from AEGEE-Tilburg are happy to be able to bring students and refugees together with an event they both enjoy. They would like to encourage other locals to organise similar events.


Migration Interest Group

Several interviews with refugees that were taken at this event are or will be published in the MIGR Facebook groups. If you’d like to see what the refugees thought of this event and hear what struggles they are facing currently, join the Facebook group of Migration Interest Group.



Written by Gökhan Sancak, AEGEE-Tilburg & Migration Interest Group

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