A few motivated members of the Gazelles:
Nejib (on the left) is 23 years old and has been running with les Gazelles de Bruxelles since 2016.
He came in Belgium when conditions became bad in Syria. He still has an uncle here. Nejib quickly learned Dutch and finds Belgium a pleasant and multicultural country. In Syria, he learned to work with agricultural machines, but now he wants to do something more in the sport’s field.
“I would like to do professional sports,” he says. As a footballer in the BON team, he heard about les Gazelles de Bruxelles and then joined the group. Some time ago, Nejib moved to Alost, but he still takes the train to Brussels every Friday to run with Les Gazelles. He thinks his lifestyle has changed, because “now I know more people and I really feel healthier. With les Gazelles, the training is very pleasant and the atmosphere is good when we run together. Competitions are also fun, when everyone helps each other! As during the 20 km of Brussels: Mohamed gave me a pat on the back during the race. It felt good.”
According to him, the biggest disadvantage of running is when someone has an injury. Because after that, you need to rest. In the future, Nejib would like to learn Dutch better and continue to do sport. “Maybe in the future, I will open my own sport school?”
Intervieuw : Noha Fayed
Harry has been with Les Gazelles since the beginning, January 2013. First, he had the objective of running with them the 20 km of Brussels, which is what he did. And we jogged every Friday in Elizabeth Park. Harry also does a lot of volunteer work in the running group. He is responsible for healthy eating or support for everyone during competitions.
“Anyone can run it doesn’t depend on the gender, age or background. We meet every week to run together and at the same time we get to know each other. These new contacts are extremely important for many people who have just arrived in Belgium. We don’t just run to be healthy. By running, you can let go and forget. If you are under pressure, running can help everyone clear their heads.
Harry comes to training every week and brings tea, water and fresh fruit with him. This way, the atmosphere in the park becomes super warm-hearted. For Harry, a healthy nutrition is a source of energy and the best example of a healthy eating habit. Harry finds it very important to eat and drink healthily and wants to pass it on to the runners. His greatest wish is that runners learn something from it and continue eating and drinking healthily.
Interview: Noha Fayed
Abdelileh is 41 years old and has been running with gazelles since March.
” I have been in Belgium since November 10, 2014, I used to live in Morocco, in Berkane. I took my visa to France and after that I came to Belgium and now I live in Brussels.”
He worked in a bakery and baked pastries. His dream is to work in the hairdressing field.
” I knew les gazelles de bruxelles thanks to Veerle, during the Dutch language courses. She asked me to come running with them on a Friday. I accepted and felt good with them. After that I signed up with the gazelles and I continue running with them every Friday and I also come to some competitions when I have time. I also brought my brother back to les gazelles, he now also runs with us from time to time (mustapha belarbi).
I run to stay healthy and meet new people, and I would like to one day be able to make a very good ranking or even be first in any competition.
I have many activities, I take French and Dutch classes, and I also do theatre at the Markten cultural centre.I do other activities with “les hommes des marolles” such as visiting other Belgian cities, playing petanque, ping-pong etc.
I would like to volunteer with the gazelles of Brussels and help them in their activities.
I like to do a lot of activities and I am very social, I really like getting to know other people no matter where they come from and what they do in life, I don’t make any difference. ”
Mohammed came into contact with the jogging club last year through Dutch lessons with Camelia. He then took part in the Brussels marathon. He wants to take part this year too on the 20km.In addition to jogging, Mohammed plays football twice a week with a few friends: “juste pour s’amuser”. He believes sport is important because it allows him to keep fit and healthy.
In his native Morocco, Mohammed could often be found on his bike and now it has also been almost two years since he took the bus or metro. In other words, he is a sportsman at heart and thinks it is a pity that people who want to exercise can’t always due to practical or financial reasons.
Frank: “I came into contact with Camelia through a friend, who also studied there. She told me that there was also a sports project, and I immediately asked how I could take part.”
Sport “keeps me alive” he says enthusiastically and it keeps me fit for my job, I am a DJ. In Africa I was a professional footballer and did fitness. I particularly loved weightlifting. Now, with the fitness project I can start again which really pleases me. He thinks 20 km should be possible, although he hopes he won’t be too tired.
Mustapha: I ended up in Pigment by change in 2009 and in the meantime I have been a volunteer for three years at Fils de Café Mama, a weekly cooking project. I am also responsible for the fitness group, so I am often there.
“J’adore faire le sport, c’est bon pour ma santé”. I prefer to exercise with Pigment, because there are people in the group that I know and there is a good atmosphere. “Last year I took part in the race organised by Foyer, and came in third place. This year I will set the bar a little higher and will take part in the Brussels 20 km race, “this time to win”, he adds with a laugh.