OUR TEAM

Current Teachers

Our coaches are all refugees from the community, who stepped up to help their peers and offer them intense and joyful sport classes.

Athens

Chris Drewicke

Chris has become a teacher of many things in Athens, including Taekwondo, Acrobatics, Fitness and Bodybuilding. He has been working with the organisation for 2.5 years now and is very advanced in his sports.

Nasrin Soltani

Nasrin is our zumba teacher in Athens. She is an inspiration for all the women around her. She started the Zumba class since almost 3 years and also took over the Hip hop lessons. Her energy and her motivation are endless. She always wants to help others and to encourage women to start physical activities, because she is really conscious of how positive it can be.

Jean Marco Ngolo keleba

Jean Marco is training as a wrestler since 16 years and is teacher in our gym in Athens since one year !

Aziz

From Lesvos to Athens, Aziz is our bodybuilding coach. He has been practicing in Congo for around 10 years and has been an athlete all his life, practicing judo and boxing as well. He loves to train and to coach with others, it makes him feel good and surrounded. Here in Athens, he takes his role very seriously and embraces the responsibilities of coaching others. Being part of the Yoga and Sport community makes Aziz feel like he is with his family, and this is very precious to us.

Medine

Medine is the newest taekwondo teacher that has recently joined the YSR teaching community. Her classes bring in the whole community, especially women and children of all ages!

Keihan Amani

Keihan is a dedicated bodybuilding coach who has been working in this field for 12 years. He recently again coaching those attending classes at YSR.

Farydun Rahimi

Farydun is an expert in the area of football, having been a trainer for 30 years! He has been  a football coach at YSR for 6 months now.

Abbas Nasity

Abbas has been crazy about parkour for 5 years, and has become a parkour teacher for YSR for the past 3 months.

Najib

Najib is the new kickboxing teacher at YSR. He has taught and practiced for many years, and is even a kickboxing and boxing champion in Sweden and Afghanistan.

Mahdi Hassani

Mahdi is our football coach in Athens, leading classes through skill-building, drills, games and competitions.

Aristoteles Lampa Gregory

Aristoteles is our judo teacher. Having practiced for 20 years, he knows almost everything there is to know!

Ali

Ali is joining us to become our boxing teacher and we’re so excited! Ali is a skilled boxer and we’re eager to see how he can guide other boxing students in our classes.

Mina

Mina is the gyms newest bodybuilding coach, starting in August 2022 and is eager to lead students through challenging and powerful strength-building classes!

Sahel

Sahel is our newest running coach, leading students through various sessions through the streets of Athens. We are excited to learn more from him!

Lesvos

Mohammad Zaher Karimi

Mohammad Zaher is our passionate cycling teacher from Afghanistan, providing exciting trips around the island in Lesvos.

Mohammad

Mohammad is the bodybuilding teacher in Lesvos. He enjoyed working at the gym and helping anyone that works through the door. For Mohammad, going to the gym help to keep his mind busy and body active – “it’s so important for both psychological and physical health that I want everyone to take benefit out of it”.

Ali Naderi

Since arriving in Lesvos, Ali was instantly attending volleyball classes. He has since become a volleyball coach, helping those coming to classes learn and slowly improve.

Amanullah Nouri

Aman is a very skilled football coach on the Lesvos island. He loves playing and leading the gym into matches, competitions and frequent practices.

Fatima Miyrayi

Fatima is our talented karate teacher and assists in other classes in women’s fitness as well. She brings a wider women’s community to the gym!

Ali Khodododi

Ali is the another current football coach at YSR in the Lesvos gym, working alongside Aman. Aman enjoyd creating fun activities and games to involve the broader community and men, women and children living in the camp.

Ioannina

Zainab

Zainab has been the volleyball teacher for women in Ioannina since February 2022. She also took over the yoga lessons and she has many activities as volunteer and teacher on this project since July 2021. She is very talented and full of energy and always trying to encourage more woman to join our sports community.

Yegane

Yegane has been the volleyball and climbing teacher for women in Ioannina since February 2022. She has many talents and commits to helping the Ioannina community in many projects and sports.

Masume

In November 2021, Masume became our boxing teacher for women in Ioannina. She is also volunteer for different sports and always tries to encourage and involve more people to join our sport community.

Ajmal

Ajmal has been Ioannina’s football coach since April 2022 and also he is active in bodybuilding. He is so motivated, and cycles over 20km each day to go to and from our gym.

Ehsan

Ehsan is one of our youngest football coaches for kids in Ioannina. He has been very active in the community since March 2022.

Elvis

Elvis is football coach for kids in Ioannina and has worked together with Ehsan since March 2022.

Noman

Noman is volleyball teacher in Ioannina. When we really needed someone to step up and take on the role, Noman put himself forward, and is doing an amazing job, with the support of Lets Keep the Ball Flying.

Sina

Sina is basketball teacher in Ioannina; he has been teaching since March 2022 both close to the camp and in the city for those that live nearby.

Ali

Ali has been our boxing teacher since May 2022. He started boxing in our gym in Katsikas, and now he has taken on great responsibilty to continue the boxing classes for our community. He is learning more day by day!

Paris

Yadullah Mousavi

Yadullah is a passionate yoga, acroyoga and wrestling teacher who has been with YSR for several years. Yadullah currently lives in Paris and, with a love for yoga and movement, has continued teaching his strong vinyasa classes. He is also the coordinator for the Paris program, and is eager to welcome more people into the community. He teaches yoga classes in both local parks Place de la Bastille and Parc de la Villette. Outside sport, Yadullah is also a talented theatre director and has directed several impressive performances about the journey to seeking asylum.

Rahmat

Rahmat is an impressive boxer and kickboxer who can teach anyone the ropes. He recently became the YSR Paris’ boxing teacher and brings many new faces to classes in the park. There he will turn heads with some powerful kicks. With lots of experience, he is great at bringing new students of all ages into boxing, explaining the basics so that everyone can be involved!

Eisa

Eisa is our talented running teacher, who came from the YSR community in Greece, and has stayed close in his new home of France! Eisa knows all the nice areas of Paris to run through and supports students continually improve their stamina.

Alumni Teachers

Most of our teachers are only temporarily in Greece. If you want to discover our network of alumni teachers, click here.

Directors

Estelle Jean, Founder, ED

Estelle Jean, founder and executive director is based on Lesvos, Greece. Estelle is a humanitarian worker and a passionate athlete. She holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science and Management from the ISMaPP-Paris. She was an accomplished equestrian for 18 years and a competitive swimmer for 8 years. She now runs marathons and competes in amateur Muay Thai fights.

Estelle founded YSR to raise awareness of the positive impact of sport for all people, especially displaced populations. Her passion spreads virally among her peers and creates a community. Besides managing the day to day operations of YSR, she also teaches women sports and swimming, supports the coordination team and tries to always be there for the refugee teachers and the community.

Nina de Winter, Director

Nina joined YSR in the summer of 2019. She first came as a running coach, but quickly became more involved. She has a background in International Relations and Higher Education policy.

She is running since she is a little girl and never stopped. She has been the coach of our running team on Lesvos for over 2 years, until she moved to Athens to support the project there. 

Nina is based in Athens, working on the organizational part of the NGO. She is responsible for the day to day finances, fundraising, human resources, and the teams in Athens and Ioannina.

In Yoga and Sport, Nina found her second family, she became part of the community and she strives to create more of this everyday.

Claire Lalande, Director Operations, Greece

Claire joined the Yoga and Sport team in 2022 as Director of the Operations in Greece.

She has been involved in YSR since 2018 where she came as volunteer yoga teacher and has stayed involved in different ways. She has been responsible for our communication, and for the yoga teacher training in 2020.

Since she first volunteered, Claire has trained in Designing strategies and project for humanitarian action, and worked in several NGOs in greece. Being part of YSR is an absolute dream come true.

Claire is now based in Athens, and is responsible for the operations in Athens, Ioannina and Lesvos.

Coordination Team

Our coordination team is always on the ground. They are always in contact with people as they manage the day-to-day operations.
They are all long term volunteers who know the situation and have been involved in Yoga and Sport for over a year.

Lesvos coordination team

Toryalay Bakhtari

Toryalay joined Yoga and Sport since 2021 in the boxing team first and afterwards as a community volunteer. He has now taken over the logistics coordination responsabilities.
Toryalay manages the on the ground logisitics of the project and supports the community volunteers.  

Katerina Laina

Katerina is from Thessaloniki Greece, she is a graduate of the School of Economics. She has always been interested in the humanitarian sector and vulnerable social groups. She has been involved in volunteer work with the migrant, lgbtq+ community and with people with special needs. She worked with minor refugees and with drug addicts. She has been part of the YSR community for few days now and already feels part of a large colorful family.

Athens coordination team

Fatemeh Jafari

Fatemeh joined Yoga and Sport community on Lesvos in 2020 as a yoga student. Very quickly she became passionate about yoga. She joined the yoga teacher training in the summer of 2020. She is a certified Yoga teacher. She is now our volunteer coordinator in Athens.

Her passion is to help people and she strongly believe in the work of Yoga and Sport to help people to choose their own life.

Claude Jonkmans

Claude works as the Project Coordinator. She first was a volunteer on Lesbos and has a background in Hotel-and Project-Management.
Since she was a little girl she has been practicing many different sports from 7 years of figure skating to 13 years of rugby to cross country skiing, yoga and dance. She loves to move and try out new sports and is also involved in the project as a women’s fitness teacher. Thanks to the challenging K1 classes she joined on Lesbos she is now focusing on martial arts.

Habibi and Sport with Refugees Coordination team

Maeve Roisin Bourke O’Gorman

Maeve joined Habibi and Sport with Refugees right from the start in September 2021. She was first a volunteer in Habibi.Works and as soon as the project started she became a volunteer in Habibi and Sport with Refugees. Maeve studies international development studies at Cork University in Ireland and is passionate about Irish Football. Maeve has a great focus on creating community and making sure that everybody feels safe and supported.

Fereshte Azimi

Fereshte was one of the first teachers in Habibi and Sport with Refugees, teaching dance and fitness for women. A born leader, now she is one of the Coordinators of the project, and is growing into the role every day.

France Coordination Team

Yadullah Mousavi

Yadullah is a passionate yoga, acroyoga and wrestling teacher who has been with YSR for several years. Yadullah currently lives in Paris and, with a love for yoga and movement, has continued teaching his strong vinyasa classes. He is also the coordinator for the Paris program, and is eager to welcome more people into the community. He teaches yoga classes in both local parks Place de la Bastille and Parc de la Villette. Outside sport, Yadullah is also a talented theatre director and has directed several impressive performances about the journey to seeking asylum.

Management assistance

Tyler Luebbert

Tyler has spent the past four years in community development, youth work, and refugee engagement. Using sports and play as a context for childhood, community, and mentoring, he’s come alongside a multiplicity of community movements, in more than 30 countries. He affirms the autonomy and potential of the individual and was compelled by YSR’s community-led vision.

He’s passionate about Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and helping others find their strength and resilience.

In Yoga and Sport with Refugees Tyler will focus on the development of our coaches and coordinators, by organizing training and facilitating feedback and continuous learning.

Nina Nymeyer

Nina has admired the work of YSR from a distance for over a year during her ethnographic Masters research study with its inspiring current/past yoga and acroyoga teachers. Nina is trained in anthropology and has a particular interest in exploring meaning-making, identity and regenerative practices amongst marginalised communities. As of recently, Nina became a volunteer communication coordinator for YSR, and works remotely from her home in Sydney, Australia. There she loves her evening runs and gym sessions. She hopes to continue spotlighting the resiliency of refugee communities, and the importance of creative movement for self-expression.

Haley Ritsema

Based in New York City, Haley coordinates all monitoring & evaluation activities through close collaboration with those on the ground. Haley has a Master of Public Health from New York University where she specialized in health & human rights. Her research focuses on improving policy and program implementation so that the mental health of all forced migrants can be better supported at the local, national, and international level.

Haley has been running competitively since she was 8 years old and believes in the power of sport to build community, break down barriers, and improve physical and mental health. She was a running coach for YSR briefly in 2019, and then became more involved in YSR when she returned to Lesvos in 2021.

Shane Godsil

My name is Shane and I am the Development Coordinator and support team administrator at YSR. I am 23 y.o. and come from county Cork, Ireland. I am an undergraduate in International development and food policy at University College Cork. In my work life I have had the privilege of teaching sport to many different groups both inside and outside of Ireland and have experienced first hand the transformative and healing effect it can have. It was this that first drew me to YSR for my university internship and, along with the community and solidarity created, that has continued to motivate me in my work here in Athens.

Non-Executive Board

In 2019, YSR created an advisory board of five members—a lawyer and volunteer running coach, a former marketing executive and now advocate for corporations to “give back,” a retired Episcopal priest and fund raiser and a world class photographer are the current members.

Puck Purnell

Puck Purnell is a retired Episcopal priest who lives in the U.S. state of Connecticut. He served as a Naval Aviator, worked draft horses in the Maine woods, was an educator and an entrepreneur. As a parish priest, he had a long-time relationship with a school in Carrefour, Haiti and, when the 2010 earthquake struck, he lead a medical mission to the area, caring for over 12,000 women, children and men. He has been on numerous non-profit boards and now is the Chair of the Seabury Charitable Foundation at Seabury Retirement Community in Bloomfield, Conneticut.

Hilde Honerud

Hilde Honerud, artist and photographer, she has produced a large number of exhibitions, seminars and publications in recent years. She is an associate professor at University of South-Eastern Norway.

Burr Purnell

Burr Purnell is an award-winning Executive Creative Director and serves as the Director of Social Good at VidMob Gives, VidMob’s 501(c)3. In this role, he helps supply the tools to make it easy, fast, and affordable for nonprofits to amplify their message to the world through video. VidMob Gives has supported numerous nonprofit organizations including YSR, UN Foundation, CDC Foundation, Movember and Equality Now. Prior to joining VidMob, Purnell worked as Executive Creative Director at the performance marketing agency, ROI·DNA in San Francisco, where he led the creative team in shaping brands throughout the full spectrum of media. Before that, he held the position of Vice President & Group Creative Director for MRM Worldgroup overseeing direct marketing and online campaigns for a variety of clients including Microsoft, AMD, MasterCard, and Charles Schwab.

Andrew Tripp

Andrew lives in Montpelier, Vermont with his excellent wife Rebecca and two superb kids Zoe and Nico. All four of them spent much of 2019 in Lesvos working with the refugee community. He coached the runners at YSR while in Mitilini and then remotely in the months leading to the 2019 Athens Marathon. According to Andrew, his time at YSR was among the most meaningful of his life: “the community of solidarity, love, laughter and respect that Estelle and the team have built is remarkable.  A real beacon of light in a world with too much darkness”.

His professional life has been as a Union, Community, and Civil Rights Organizer in the US and abroad.  For 25 years he has organized unions, negotiated contracts, built and run organizations and campaigns, and passed legislation.

In addition, for the last nine years he has coached at U-32 High School (Cross Country, Nordic Skiing, and Track) where his teams have won 19 State Championships.

Supporting People

In 2018, YSFR created an advisory board of five members—a lawyer and volunteer running coach, a former marketing executive and now advocate for corporations to “give back,” a retired Episcopal priest and fund raiser and a (need something for Helga) world class photographer are the current members.

Gemma

Communications

Claire

Website

Rick

Fundraising, Partnerships, Data Maagement

Jose

Fundraising

Giorgio

Fundraising

Nikolai

General

Didac

General

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