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Havens East

Football Activities


Imagine that you are in a place where you do not speak the language and you want to play a game with the people you have just met. What might be hard about that?

If a new person joins your school or club and they do not speak your language, one of the first things you can do together is play some sport. Many games are played all over the world, so people everywhere know the rules.

  • Think about your favourite game and imagine how you would explain how to play to someone who cannot understand your language.


  • Find out about the Amnesty International initiative ‘Football Welcomes’ and the many professional footballers, past and present, who have a refugee background.

Of the 3,826 Basque children who arrived on the SS Habana, six went on to become professional footballers. They were some of the first refugees to play professionally in the UK. Their stories – alongside contemporary footballers with a refugee background such as Luka Modric, Christian Benteke, Nadia Nadim, and Victor Moses – have inspired the Football Welcomes programme. This is an annual celebration of the contribution players with a refugee background make to the beautiful game and the positive role football can play in bringing people together and creating more welcoming communities.


  • Design a club badge to represent the Basque Boys XI football team.

Try to make your design reflect the experience of the Basque children who came to England. You could include an image that represents something from their story, such as the SS Habana or North Stoneham Camp. For a chance for your design to be chosen for the Havens East exhibition match in 2021, send your design to (details below).

For inspiration, you could look at the logos of football teams from across Europe here. You might want to look at the logo of Athletic Bilbao as this club is said to be the home of Basque football. Several of the boys who came to England went on to play for them and even today they have a rule that means you must be Basque to play for the club.

Havens East Exhibition Match

In 2021 we will be honouring the 1939 football match played between Basque Boys XI and Great Yarmouth Schoolboys XI by staging a recreation of the match. Representing the Basque Boys XI will be a team of players drawn from New Routes, a charity in Norwich who support refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants. Representing the Yarmouth Schoolboys will be a team from Great Yarmouth Town FC. Just like the original match, it will be played at Wellesley Road Stadium.