Nepalese diaspora raising funds for sport back home
2018-04-15 10:11:37 -


By Ken McCue
Of all the migrant groups in Ireland, the Nepalese community, through cultural and sports body the 977 Crew (the number refers to Nepal’s international dialling code), is probably the most active in combining their arts and sporting projects.
Sport Against Racism Ireland (Sari) has worked with the 977 Crew and the Nepalese diaspora in a number of sports events, from soccer to badminton. 
But now 997 Crew event co-ordinator and Sari volunteer Abishek Gupta is keen to develop the relationship further with what’s perhaps a more niche pastime – archery.
“Archery is very popular among women in my home country,” Gupta says, “and we are very proud of the fact that we will be staging a high profile event over this summer. We hope to uncover talent that will contribute to the development of Archery Ireland.”
Indeed the summer of 2018 promises to be a busy one for Ireland’s Nepalese community, with cricket pencilled on the schedule along with their annual soccer festival, this time out dedicated to raising funds for a solidarity project in Besisahar, a municipality in Nepal supported by the Uefa Foundation for Children. Sari will facilitate the event, following the 2015 partnership for the  Rebuilding Nepal Eid World Cup fundraising tournament.
Sari has also received funds from the Uefa Foundation for Children, and is encouraged by Uefa’s decision to support the ‘Play for Change’ project in the country known as ‘the roof of the world’, one also devastated by two earthquakes in April and May 2015. 
The programme, known as Khelaun Khelaun (‘Let’s play’ in Nepali), is designed to use sport as a vehicle to improve children’s health and well-being, increase girls’ participation and create local employment, thereby developing long-term opportunities and access to sport.
The programme will be based in and around Besisahar, located in the Lamjung district of Nepal. Current access to sport in the region is poor, especially as Lamjung and its sports facilities were badly damaged in the earthquakes. The participation of women and girls in sport presents another testing challenge.
Play for Change is working hand in hand with Global Action Nepal to ensure that all children have the chance to play sport in their schools and communities.
“Sport has a vital role to play in bringing meaning and fun to children’s lives,” said José Manuel Durão Barroso, chair of the Uefa Foundation for Children’s board of trustees. “The establishment of a sport and education project in this area of Nepal will not only give joy to children, but also help create and foster a positive future for the community. 
“We fully support Play for Change in its admirable work, and wish everyone the very best in this exciting venture.”
Marie Le Page, director of Play for Change, added: “We are really excited to be working with Uefa Foundation for Children where we share a passion for sport. We believe that this project will offer a great platform and opportunity to the devastated communities of Nepal.”
- Find the 977 Crew on social media at



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