In Athens, we have a Gym and we use many outdoors facilities to train everyday. Our gym in Athens is a sports centre run by asylum seekers and open to all, one of the rare places in Athens offering sports for free. It started as Project HIWA in the summer of 2019, founded by Dana (a Kurdish athlete who also joined Estelle on Lesvos to start the project in 2017). Progressively, Project HIWA has become an important movement for many children, women and men, regardless of origin, religion and language. In September 2020 we were approached to take over the Gym of Project HIWA and have it under our umbrella. This came as an ideal opportunity to expand and to make a direct link with the project on Lesvos. Many teachers and students leaving Lesvos are looking for a place to continue their sports activities in Athens. Directly linking the projects helps our community to stay connected, to maintain friendships and to stay active.

Athens Gym

The Gym

Our gym in Athens is one of the rare places in Athens offering sports for free. We have a great variety of people joining our activities and the female community in our gym is very strong. The project in Athens focuses more on integration. Athens is a more permanent place where people have to start building their future.


Pedion tou Areos Park

(Also called Alexander Park)

Many of our activities are also happening outside, in the Pedion tou Areos Park which is located only 2 kilometers away from our Gym. We run there everyday and we do a lot of our big groups training there. It is a very green and welcoming park where we can meet many new sport students who wants to join our classes. We do there running and kickboxing! We enjoy training outside and inspiring new people to join us!

Coordination Team

There are two community members that were in Yoga and Sport on Lesvos before who coordinate the project in Athens: Aref and Sohaila. They have full responsibility on the ground: they organize the schedule, maintain the Gym and have contact with the teachers and students.

Aref Gholami

Aref is also our program coordinator in Athens. He is learning and developing his skills everyday. He is also our taekwondo teacher in Athens. He is an athlete who has amazing pedagogical skills to teach every level and ages. He has been learning in Afghanistan and he has particpated in many competitons.

Sohaila Shojayie

Sohaila started to practice Karate when she was 9 years old. Her trainings are full of people who are motivated to improve or learn from scratch the discipline of Karate, but the most important point is that in each class she encourages women. She is also an amazing fitness coach for women.


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