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!

Fabiano Costa Coelho

Fabiano Costa Coelho has been practising hatha yoga since 2006 and became Kriyaban in 2010. As a volunteer, he has taught hatha yoga with influences from other lines in Brazil and Greece. In 2022, he conducted upskilling training for yoga teachers and aspiring learners at YSR in Athens. His PhD thesis was on the relationship between humanity and nature, looking for ways to overcome the current social and environmental destructive course by promoting true happiness, which lies in making others happy.

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.

Samual

Samual is our newest skilled boxing teacher, who has been competing for a long time before coming to Greece. Samual is motivated to share his wisdom and help the community become stronger!

Zaker

Zaker is YSR’s new kickboxing teacher. Zaker has a long history of competing outside of Greece, and comes to classes with a wealth of knowledge to assist new students!

Ioannina

Parinaz

Parinaz has been our yoga and dance teacher for women at Habibi since 2022. She also participates very actively in the volleyball training every week and in many other sports events that happen in Habibi.

Drio

Drio has been teaching parkour since October 2022, so you can always find him at the Habibi gym jumping and doing some impressive backflips. He also plays football and basketball.

Kavin

Kavin has been our fitness teacher for women since September 2022 and a volunteer of other sports since August 2022. She also likes practicing other sports and she’s an active part of Habibi.

Mohamad Hosein

Mohamad is our new parkour coach, who teaches in collaboration with Drio. He also enjoys playing volleyball, but there’s nothing he likes more than going doing parkour on the streets.

Sanjideh

Sanjideh is our volleyball and boxing teacher for women. She teaches boxing once a week and gives volleyball class twice a week, which is what she likes the most. She’s also been a volunteer at Habibi and Sports with Refugees since May 2022.

Sina

Sina has been a basketball teacher in Habibi since March 2022. Now he is also our climbing teacher in the bouldering gym, where you can find him almost everyday hanging from the walls.

Fayaz

Fayaz has been our football teacher in Habibi since the beginning of November 2022. He is really dedicated and enjoys teaching his favorite sport in the field.



Dowa

Dowa is our newest sports volunteer from the community. She takes part in dancing and fitness classes. She also loves playing volleyball on the field with the rest of the team and being part of the Habibi family.



Shayan

Shayan has been teaching volleyball at Habibi and Sports with Refugees since beginning of November 2022. 

Paris

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

Mohammad Reza

My name is Mohammad Reza. I am originally from Afghanistan, but I was born in Iran. I came to Lesbos in July 2019 as a refugee. After a while I started volunteering with different organizations and NGOs. I learned how to speak English with these volunteer jobs. Currently I am volunteering as a medical interpreter in the camp.

In the past, I was interested in wrestling, but unfortunately the conditions were not good for me to do exercise. My interest in sports made me to search for a place to do exercise. When I got to know Yoga and Sport I started to go to gym for boxing class, which I found a safe and friendly environment with different nationalities. That made me feel good from the first day. Now, I am very happy to be a member of this Yoga and Sport team.

Arjan Poelen

Originally from the Netherlands, Arjan supported YSR initially as a volunteer before coming back to Lesvos to work as an on-the-ground volunteer coordinator. Arjan is passionate about the organisation and what it stands for, and is the first to put his hand up for organising activities with the volunteers and community teachers, especially if it involves travelling or hiking around the island.

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

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.

Najib

Welcoming to the team, our newest YSR Coordinator, Najib. Najib is an experienced and competitive kickboxing and muay thai fighter. He started kickboxing in 2012 and Muay thai in 2017, before he became ‘pro’. He has won Afghan and Swedish companionships, including one at the Fighter Centre in Sweden, and is eager to step into a leadership role for YSR to bring new and familiar faces together. He continues to teach his kickboxing and muay thai classes outside his new role.

Delphine

Delphine joined YSR in 2022 as a Volunteer Coordinator. Prior working with us, she worked in several NGOs in Greece in the field of migration and child protection. Delphine herself is an avid runner, has been playing hockey and tennis since she was 6 years old, and was a hockey coach for children throughout her highschool and university years. She’s also a big fan of dancing; sports have been a big part of her life. For Delphine, joining YSR means a new opportunity to bring together her passion for sport and community.

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.

Emily Forbes

Upon completing her LLM in International Human Rights Law and Practice Emily worked in various NGOs before joining Habibi and Sport with Refugess in August 2022. Both her academic and professional work has always aimed to support, and promote the rights of people on the move. Beyond this she is a keen bodybuilder, hiker and loves nothing more than exploring the outdoors.

Lena Fünfsinn

Lena supported the volleyball teacher upskilling and training at Habibi and Sport with Refugees while also volunteering with our partner, Habibi.Works. She took over as Project Coordinator of HSR in December 2022. Being together and building community is what she likes most about sports. She studied graphic design but is more passionate about the work she does now. Starting yoga and sports is a chance for her to continue working in this field.

Management assistance

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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