Greatwood graduate from Darfur conflict nominated for Daily Mirror Pride of Sport award

Written by Tony Millett on .

Abdul Musa Adam at the Northern Racing College (Photo by Andy Commins for the Daily Mirror Pride of Sport Awards)Abdul Musa Adam at the Northern Racing College (Photo by Andy Commins for the Daily Mirror Pride of Sport Awards)Abdul did receive a Young Achiever Award at the Pride of Sport ceremony on Wednesday evening. 

The story of Abdul Musa Adam must surely become a film.  Aged seven he fled from Darfur in the Sudan after his parents and two sisters were killed when their village was bombed in 2004.  Now the nineteen-year-old has been nominated for one of The Daily Mirror's Pride of Sport  awards.

His journey from Darfur was long and dangerous - he travelled via Chad to Libya where he was arrested for avoiding army service. 

He was rescued while under arrest in a hospital - taken away in the boot of a doctor's car and then put onto a humanitarian ship to France.  

From there he hid in the back of a lorry that was on its way to England. 

Abdul told Ros Wynne Jones of The Daily Mirror:  "There were boxes inside and a brand new sofa, wrapped up. I climbed on to it and fell asleep, it was so warm from the engine and such a nice sofa."

He woke up in a police station in Swindon.  He was eventually granted asylum. And now he can work with the horses he loves, he is smiling again.

Sponsored by the Greatwood charity at Clench Common, near Marlborough, he is now studying at the Northern Racing College in Doncaster and has been nominated as a Young Achiever in The Daily Mirror's Pride of Sport awards - which will be announced tonight (December 7.)

He was steered towards the Greatwood charity by Swindon social services [CORRECTION: not Wiltshire social services] and there his life began to change.

He told The Daily Mirror:  "When I touch a horse I feel I am touching my father and my mother.  I become so happy.  I can speak to horses much better than I can speak to people."

Abdul Musa Adam at the Northern Racing College (Photo by Andy Commins for the Daily Mirror Pride of Sport Awards) Abdul Musa Adam at the Northern Racing College (Photo by Andy Commins for the Daily Mirror Pride of Sport Awards) From Greatwood he went to work with trainer Nikki Evans in south Wales.  There he learned to ride - and the Evans family helped with his English. 

In four months his riding improved so much that he was riding out for the trainer every morning.

Now he is on the verge of becoming a jockey: "I'd love to be a jockey.  My height and weight are okay to be a jockey."

"I cannot see any barriers to achieving my dreams.  I'm determined to achieve my dreams."

And he is full of praise for Greatwood:  "Greatwood are amazing - they help any child, anyone to achieve their dreams."

"I feel special and cannot thank them enough for nominating me.  They were always there, caring for me and encouraging me."

Marlborough.News met Abdul in July at Greatwood when he received his leaving certificate - you can read more about him and his fellow graduates here.

Our thanks to The Daily Mirror for permission to use their photographs of Abdul Musa Adam.

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