Alternative sports festival in Ipswich

REFUGEES and police were getting into the spirit of the world cup by holding their own mini-tournament. The alternative world cup at Suffolk Police Headquarters in Martlesham was part of a series of events held nation wide.

REFUGEES and police were getting into the spirit of the world cup by holding their own mini-tournament.

The alternative world cup at Suffolk Police Headquarters in Martlesham was part of a series of events held nation wide.

Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Somalia were among the ten countries represented the all-day challenge which involved 24 teams from all over East Anglia and London.

Laura Griggs, Refugee Week Co-ordinator for Suffolk, said: "Countries who are traditionally in conflict with one another are all joining in together. It celebrates the skills and talents refugees make to this country and acknowledges that they are ordinary people fleeing extraordinary circumstances."


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Refugees also united in Ipswich to put on a spectacular variety show at Suffolk College where Ipswich MP Chris Mole and High Sheriff Robert Rous were among the audience of 400.

Top Ipswich poet and storyteller John Row acted as compare for the evening and performers included comic Payvand Khorsandi, Celtic trio Deadly Lampshade and Latin American band Mambo Cumbo.

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Traditional song and dance came from Iranian, Kurdish and Afghan performers and some professional performers gave up their time free of charge to thank the people of Ipswich for their support.

The Evening Star's own Jock Davies teamed up with an Uzbekistan refugee to entertain with a folk music ensemble.

The show celebrated the sanctuary the region has given them. Laura said: "The night was a resounding success and a great example of integration.

"I counted twenty-two different nationalities getting to know each other and enjoying themselves and the event over run its 11 o'clock finish as people kept dancing to the sounds of Mumbo Cumbo."

Other activities during the week included a children's puppet show at Ipswich Central Library. On Sunday an allotment was open to the public at Spring Road in Ipswich, where refugees have been growing seeds from around the world.

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