From Refugee To Sporting Icon: The Inspirational Story of Abdi Jama

Abdi Jama is one of Great Britain’s finest athletes. Abdi fled Somalia with his family at the age of six during the heat of the civil war. He was paralyzed from chest down after falling from a window aged 14, but that never stopped believing in his dreams. He has captained Britain to victory in several wheelchair basketball competitions.

Abdi Jama

Abdi Jama has risen to become one of Great Britain’s sport icons after series of successes in his career as a wheelchair basketballer. Photo: Facebook/ AbdiJama

The story of Abdi Jama is an inspirational and touching one. Jama left Somalia with his family in the midst of civil war which started in the 1980s.  He left Somalia as a refugee at a young age, just six years old moving to Liverpool in England.

At 14 years-old Abdi fell out of a window, and was left paralysed. This accident however didn’t stop him from moving on with life and dreaming big. Jama joined a local wheelchair basketball club after Ade Orogbemi, a fellow wheelchair basketball player, had come to Jama’s school to do a taster session on wheelchair basketball. Both Jama and Orogbemi represented Great Britain in the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London.

Jama joined the Liverpool Vikings and later represented Britain in the 2008 Summer Paralympic games in Beijing where he won a bronze medal. He played in three European titles in Italy, three Italian Cups, two World Championships, three Paralympics, of which two were bronze medals and was voted as the best League Low Point player in the world.

Abdi Jama

In 2013, Abdi Jama captained Britain to a consecutive European Championship gold medal and getting a place in the All Star Team. Photo: Facebook/AbdiJama

Jama currently plays for Wolverhampton Rhinos, and he has played for various clubs in Italy and Australia. His first championship was the 2007 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Wetzlar where his team won silver. In Adana, Turkey he participated in the 2009 European Championships and won bronze again alongside his team. In 2010, when Britain hosted the World Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Birmingham, Jama was part of the team. Unfortunately Britain came fifth after losing to France. It was in the European Championships in Israel in 2011 that he struck gold.

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In 2013, he captained Britain to a consecutive European Championship gold medal, getting a place in the All Star Team. In 2015 Abdi secured a third consecutive European title and another Championship All Star Team, playing a crucial role in the team’s gold medal winning campaign and Rio 2016 qualification.

Jama will be participating in the European Championships where Britain plays against Sweden today. His long career has no doubt been successful.

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