“Football should be for free. And the Fitzroy Lions are making sure kids play for free.” That’s the mission of Abdulmalik Abdurahman, the founder of Fitzroy Lions SC, a youth soccer club in Melbourne, Australia.
Abdurahman and his soccer club the Fitzroy Lions are the focus of Nike’s new docu-series From the Grounds Up, which showcases the transformative power of sport by profiling the inspiring yet rarely told stories of local community sports heroes around the globe. The latest film in the series, created by Sydney video production agency We Know Video and directed by Madeline Kelly, focuses on Abdurahman and his determined young soccer players who have fast become a unifying force of positivity and inclusivity in their community.
With a shared goal to provide access to sport for girls and boys, Nike has partnered with the Lions since the start of their 2018 season.
“At the moment, there aren’t really that many Muslim girls who are playing, so I feel like Fitzroy Lions has opened a good opportunity,” says Ridwan, one of the players of Fitzroy Lions Soccer Club.
The club provides Ridwan and her teammates an opportunity to come together through sport. “When I first played in a game and we scored, seeing all the girls cheering — that was one of the best feelings ever.”
Filmed last December in Fitzroy and the Carlton public housing estate, the docu-film was shot with an intimate lens, using an authentic storytelling approach to capture the inspiring personal stories of both Abdurahman and his young players, along with the mission of the club itself – to make soccer accessible for all kids in the community, while providing them with a sense of belonging and positive opportunities through sport.
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