Ibrahim Al-Hariri teaches teqball to young Syrian refugees ©FITEQ

A teqball coach has explained how important the sport has become for Syrian children living at the Zaatari Refugee Camp.

Ibrahim Al-Hariri helped to launch the International Federation of Teqball's first major refugee programme at the camp in Jordan, which is organised together with Peace and Sport's Live Together initiative

The project began in 2018 with the aim of "training the trainers" - so coaches can continue to pass on what they have learnt to the youngsters.

Al-Hariri has trained more than 100 children aged between eight and 18 at Zaatari, the largest refugee camp for Syrians who have fled the conflict in their country.

"I look to create a fun and engaging training programmes so that everyone can have fun and improve," said Al-Hariri, a Syrian who moved to Jordan in 2012 and then played in the country's football leagues.

"At the end of each training cycle, we have competitions, which the kids really like.

"I always make sure that the kids grow as people as well as players. 

"There's a constant presence of core personal values in all my sessions. 

"These values are cooperation, respect, honesty and teamwork. 

"It's important that these are always adhered to, not just in the teqball sessions, but in all sporting activities in the Zaatari Camp.

"There are also training programmes in the city of Amman, I attend these as often as possible to grow my own knowledge, as well as foster collaboration between the city and the camp.

"Things were more difficult in the earlier stages of the COVID-19 pandemic because training facilities were closed. 

"However, I sent videos of exercises that the kids could do on their own via WhatsApp."

Thirty-six-year-old Al-Hariri is a level intro teqball coach and now hopes to teach the sport around the world.

"I hope to become a global trainer, training children all over the world, especially refugees," he said. 

"I want to use the sport and its values to connect communities and help children to live with purpose, happiness and peace.

"Seeing these children thrive in a safe and supportive environment fills me with great pride and personal satisfaction. 

"It is brilliant to see the joy that they experience through the teqball sessions, it is great motivation for me.

"So far, my biggest achievement is that I’ve trained over 100 children in the Zaatari camp and helped them to grow as people.

"Looking to the future, I hope that children from the Zaatari camp will be able to participate in national tournaments so that we can showcase the skill and improvement that they have earned."