Meet the West Cumbrian NHS football team made of seven African nationalities

An international football team made up of NHS staff is aiming to build a more diverse community in West Cumbria.

The team is made up of over 30 health care professionals who have come from around the globe to work for North Cumbria Integrated Care (NCIC).

Bita Ebrahim, a hygiene specialist at the West Cumberland Hospital, said: “The team started pre-covid in 2019.

“It was created with the aim of bringing people together, socialising, motivating and encouraging the community to join us in our event with the aim of building a more diverse community in Cumbria.”

The team have a variety of cccupations in healthcare including doctors, physiotherapists, nurses, accountants, hygiene specialists, computer scientists and health care assistants.

Bita added: “We started off with about four to six members and now we have grown to more than 30 international nurses, healthcare workers and their families.

“The idea originated from Dr Abdullah Habeebu who was the coordinator till 2022, and assisted by Dr Moyoloye Iranlowo J, who is now the co-ordinator.”

As well as creating inclusion and diversity, the team also gets to develop their physical fitness and mental health, creating a balance between work and home life.

The team plays with local teenagers and medical students and is currently playing 11-a-side. They train from 9.30am to 11am at St Benedict’s School in Whitehaven, usually on Saturdays.

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