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Refugee life story wins Premier League award

HONOURED: Tresor Kalilwa with Hull City FC's Moses Odubajo (right)

TRESOR KALILWA, a former refugee and participant on the Hull City Kicks programme, which is run by the Tigers Trust, was presented with his Premier League Kicks Hero comic strip by Hull City FC star Moses Odubajo.

Kalilwa is the third person to be recognised by the Premier League Kicks Heroes campaign, which sees inspirational individuals’ stories, turned into their very own comic strip, following their involvement in the programme.

Premier League Kicks began ten years ago, and is a youth outreach programme with the aim to create safer, stronger and more respectful communities through the development of young peoples’ potential, whilst giving young people access to facilities, coaching and mentoring.

Having moved to the UK from Zaire when he was eight years old, Kalilwa had initially found it difficult to integrate with the local community in Hull due to his lack of English. Now fluent in English and studying art and design at Hull College, Kalilwa has been immortalised in the comic strip illustration designed by Marvel and DC Comics artist John McCrea.

Kalilwa said:

“I have always wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps and to work alongside him as a tailor.

"When my family moved to England, I was unable to speak the language and I didn’t feel a part of the local community.

“Attending Kicks sessions gave me an outlet where I could make friends, develop my English and my self-confidence, so much so, that I am now studying art and design at Hull College.

“Not only has Kick’s completely turned my life around, I’m now working towards my dream and I couldn’t have done that without the support of the Tigers Trust.”

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