A group of 60 experts and others interested in the field of sports and social issues agreed with Minister of Sports Carl Haglund, who stated Friday in Helsinki that sports is an underused tool for social participation and action.
“It’s a shame [that sports is so underused],” said Haglund, “since it would be a very powerful tool that’s fun as well [to help migrants become a part of society].”
The minister stressed as well the importance of organizations representing migrants participating in government sports programs.
From left to right: Daryl Taylor, Nicky Verschraegen, Obiora Aniche, Carl Haglund, Peter K. Kariuki, Ayisat Success Yusuf and Yvette Ayivi.
Minister Haglund was a special panel guest at Eric Cantonas’ documentary, Les Rebelles du Food, together with other sports personalities such as HJK star-striker Aniche Obiora and African Cup winner Ayisat Yusuf-Aromire.
Former Manchester United star Eric Cantona presented in the documentary the life stories of five football heroes whose social awakening led them to challenge autocratic regimes in Africa, join opposition movements and lead the fight for democracy and human rights.
Nicky Verschragen of RASMUS ry, an anti-racism NGO, presented the online reporting forum where one can report hate speech during the ongoing April 19 parliamentary election campaign. The report will be evaluated and reported throughout the EU.
Yvette Ayivi, who had organized the world forum for sports and inclusion in Paris, told the audience about Cantonas’ motivation for doing the documentary and the tense situation in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January.
Daryl Taylor noted that sports plays an extremely important role for many migrants and that the Finland should be made more aware of that.
The event also presented the KAAMOS exhibit. Participants enjoyed getting photographed with their favorite posters.
From left to right: Hodan Shankaroon, Yvette Ayivi and Ayisat Success Yusuf.
Candidate for parliament Ahmed Hassan told the participants about the difficulties he experienced when trying to find public support for the Finnish Somali Sports Federation. The forum was very surprised to hear what Hassan said in light of the important role that sports plays among migrant groups.
ETNO Secretary General Mr. Peter Kariuki, stressed the importance of migrant participation in mainstream sports as well as the possibility of migrants to organize sports association and groups.
ETNO is a ministry of interior advisory board for ethnic relations.
One of the questions that the panelists and audience had was when and where Finland’s very own Zlatan would appear?
The event was organized by Liikkukaa – Sports For All, Ei Rasismille, KanSu – Our Finland is International and the national network against racism and xenophobia, RASMUS ry.
Delicious Nepalese food was served at the event.