OUR TEAM

 

Dedicated athletes to make a change

We created Yoga and Sport For Refugees to bring more motivation and energy to the ones that need it in their life at this moment.

 
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ESTELLE JEAN

Founder - Executive Director

Based in France and Greece.

Estelle is a humanitarian worker and a passionate athlete. She holds a Master degree in Political Science and Management from the ISMaPP-Paris. She did 18 years of horse riding, 8 years of competition swimming, and she is now running marathons, trails and training for triathlons.

She is an excellent swimming teacher and an outstanding running coach. She gives workout and fitness classes, yoga sessions, and Muay Thai boxing trainings.

Estelle founded the organisation to raise awareness of positive impact sport has and to share her passion among her peers and beyond.

Today she manages a wide range of training on the ground, coaches volunteers and refugee sport teachers, fundraising, and leads on social media.

 
 
 
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NATALIE THALER

Co-director

Natalie is a certified yoga teacher who had a vision of creating a place where refugees can heal from their difficult journey and release their tensions. She came to Lesvos to volunteer at first and when seeing the situation she realized how yoga could help the human beings who had suffered and are still suffering from very difficult life conditions.

Natalie has a deep knowledge in healing methods such as Thetahealing, Thai massage, healing through music and water therapy. 

When Natalie and Estelle met in January 2018 they started collaborating together: Natalie came with helpers to build the Wellness Tent in One Happy Family Community Center and after a few days yoga classes, sport sessions were starting ! 

 

 
 
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RICK GRIEG HIGGINSON

CO-DIRECTOR

Based in Denmark. Rick is a diplomat and passionate sportsman. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Languages and Business and a Master’s degree in International Relations and Development from Liverpool, A Coruña and Aalborg Universities.

Rick is a passionate athlete and a member of Copenhagen Wolves rugby team and Denmark’s Black Swans field hockey team. He is a regular in OC races, a cross fitter, weight lifter, kayaker, and also a keen tennis player and boxer. 

He has worked with refugees in Greece amongst others on sport activities. Today, Rick uses his network over the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as the UK to initiate and develop Yoga and Sport For Refugees projects with a focus on integration.

 
 

 

COACHES

 
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ALI TAKPAR

TAEKWONDO TEACHER

Ali has a black belt DAN II in taekwondo. He has been training since he is 8 years old. He is part of the national taekwondo team in Afghanistan since 2016. He trains 6 hours a day everyday to perform even better. Ali is also a teacher: he used to train kids of 4-5 years old back in Afghanistan and he is now training men and women of all ages at the One Happy Family Community Center.

He daily participates in running, workouts and Muay Thai boxing with Yoga and Sport For Refugees. He wants to continue training very intensely to be prepared for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

 

ROHULLAH BALKHI

Yoga Assistant Teacher

Rohullah is a very committed yogi. He attends daily different yoga sessions and has therefore good knowledge of different styles including Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa flow and Bikram. He shows his passion for yoga not only on the mat but also in dedicating his spare time in improving the yoga space to make it more safe and clean.

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JÂŚÒOR ŽÁĹMĀÝ

MUAY THAI TEACHER

Jâśòor has been practising Muay Thai for more than 8 years in Afghanistan. Today he has a Khan 7 meaning he has a good understanding of both technical and theoretical knowledge in Muay Thai and he can competently pass on his passion to students. He is certified as an assistant instructor since 2017 and started giving classes in Kabul before coming to Europe.

Jâśòor aspires to get to Level 4 and to become a fully certified instructor. He actively participates in cardio trainings, workouts and personal coaching with Yoga and Sport For Refugees.

 
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KAMARA

PERSONAL TRAINER

Kamara is a passionate athlete and coach. He has been practising football, tennis and basketball and has always been taking care of his body. He has a lot of experience in bodybuilding and in cardio trainings. He is now giving personal trainings to very motivated students twice a day. He is attentive to the needs of each one of them to make them improve at their best. 

Kamara is a very dedicated trainer and he is very motivated to have more knowledge about athlete nutrition and anatomy related to sport.

 

 
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HAMID MORADI

JAMAL

FITNESS AND CARDIO COACH

Hamid is a very new athlete. He started doing sport when arriving to Greece and he is now developing his abilities and strength progressively (and very fast!).

He started running in the end of 2017 and he achieved to be ranked 4th in his first trail race in Agiasos in March 2018 (22kms with 1200m of ascent).

He follows almost every sport class provided by Yoga and Sport For Refugees and practices kickboxing as his favorite sport. He is learning and coaching everyday to give challenging and very efficient fitness classes. 

Yoga and Sport For Refugees is very happy to have such an humble and passionate athlete in its team.