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14 Apr 2014

Media releases

Asylum seeker’s Olympic and academic dreams on hold

 

He now lives in Ryde, Sydney, after seeking asylum in Australia in May last year. Unable to work due to his asylum seeker status, Mr Ghorbani soon approached the Sydney University handball club to ask if he could play.

“It is very good there,” he said, “I met new people. I feel very welcome there with the good relationships I have with my team mates and coach. They are very good to me; they help me and support me.”

Mr Ghorbani represented Iran at youth levels and played in the country’s professional league for five years.

Mr Ghorbani’s Sydney Uni team qualified for the Oceania Club Championships in New Caledonia in June, after winning the national championship. Mr Ghorbani is unlikely to join them, however. Living in Australia on a bridging visa means he is unable to travel overseas. But he still holds hope after lodging a ministerial intervention request to be granted an exception.

If granted refugee status and eventually citizenship, Mr Ghorbani hopes to represent Australia at an Olympic Games and develop a career in sports science research.

“I would like to study more,” he said, “and make lots of research in the field of sports medicine, especially in knee surgery and ankle surgery in Australia.”

 

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