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Darfur United Joy

This blog was originally posted on 

We walk off of the plane and a nice, sharp cold hits us. This is not southern California, and it’s definitely not eastern Chad. Östersund, Sweden might be an odd place for an all-refugee team from Darfur to meet up with its coaching and management team from the warm beaches just outside Los Angeles, but it also the perfect place.


We make it through immigration, and the best smile ever is waiting for us. Darfur United (DU) midfielder and (maybe) future mayor of Östersund, Moubarak is there for us with Alan and Judith Barker. Al and Jud have taken in Moubarak as a son, and they now welcome the entire team to this beautiful town for a weeklong training camp. DU head coach, Mark Hodson, along with coaches Rudy Sanchez and Amy Gilmore and athletic trainer Alex Nuttall-Smith are here to prepare the team to compete to qualify for the 2018 CONIFA World Cup. Felicia and I (and the iACT team back home) are here to support!

This is a serious endeavor. We want the team to become stronger