“I had a life-changing experience. I would underestimate how much YSR means to me if I say the only purpose of YSR would be helping out others. YSR is the most diverse community that someone could find themselves in” – Azim, former YSR Athens Coordinator.

YSR 5 Year Anniversary Celebration Video

Gym Upstairs

Our gym is located in the centre of Athens, run by people from coordinators and volunteers (including those from refugee backgrounds). In September 2020 we were happy to take over the space that was perviously run by Dana (a Kurdish athlete who also joined Estelle on Lesvos to start the project in 2017) as Project HIWA.

Our Athens gym is run on two floors. On the top floor, we have a gym with bodybuilding equipment and a space where we can hold classes.

The YSR Athens gym is open to all. It is one of only a few places in Athens that offers sport classes and a gym space for free. 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.

Gym Downstairs

On the lower floor we have classes ranging from martial arts, dance, Zumba to self defence! 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.

We are thrilled that the Athens Gym has grown into a happy place for many and a safe space for athletes regardless of background, gender or sexual orientation.

Pedion tou Areos Park

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 regularly and do many events there as well as big group trainings there if the weather allows it. It is a very green and welcoming park where we can meet many new sport students who wants to join our classes. We enjoy training outside and inspiring new people to join us!

Athens Streets

A lot of our running, especially because our directors have loved running in the past, includes training through the busy and narrow streets of Athens. These sessions bring the community together and become a time for conversation, language lessons and laughter (with a lot of puffing and pacing). Running has especially become a popular sport to bring in curious onlookers and Greek runners together as well as athletes from other sports, as we join many races.

Will you change a life today?

As long as poverty, injustice and inequality exist, we can not rest. It isn’t difficult to make a change. Take action and make the difference today.