From refugee to junior doctor: Former Leeds Carnegie player stars in Sporting Heroes video

Former Leeds Carnegie player Mohamed Mostafa has talked about his journey from refugee to junior doctor in the hope of inspiring other young people in the city.

He is the first participant in Sporting Heroes, a series of videos being shared by Leeds-based youth organisation One Formation via its Facebook page.

Former Leeds Carnegie player Mohamed Mostafa stars in One Formation's first Sporting Heroes video.

Former Leeds Carnegie player Mohamed Mostafa stars in One Formation's first Sporting Heroes video.

A Palestinian refugee who was raised in the UK and expelled from school at the age of 16, Mohamed eventually went on to play professional rugby in Leeds and is now a doctor and champion Jiu Jitsu fighter.

"When I arrived in the UK, I couldn't speak a word of English," he said. "There was a lot of bullying at school, a lot of racism that I've had to deal with. I just wasn't happy and I wasn't settled."

He recalls being expelled and how he then began to turn his life around, juggling rugby training along with studying.

Although an injury ended his rugby career, he recently won a double gold at the Jiu Jitsu Euros.

Mohamed Mostafa talks about challenges he has overcome in his life.

Mohamed Mostafa talks about challenges he has overcome in his life.

"I'll continue to work hard and I will continue to try my best, and wherever that leads is God's plan and I'm more than happy to accept it," he said.

Using sporting role models, the video series aims to offer young people who have had difficult upbringings with a positive alternative.

Mushad Ahmed said: "We believe in young people and use sport to help unlock their incredible talents – benefiting not only their lives, but the communities around them.

"The Sporting Heroes series is not just about encouraging people to get involved in sports but promoting the greater benefits it can offer – discipline, purpose, team spirit and, most importantly, enjoyment – especially for those who sometimes lack a sense of belonging.

Encountering bullying and racism made it hard for Mohamed Mostafa to settle in at school.

Encountering bullying and racism made it hard for Mohamed Mostafa to settle in at school.

"Mo demonstrates that with grit and perseverance anything is achievable. His journey from “school drop-out” to professional British rugby player, champion Jiu-Jitsu fighter and qualified doctor is an example to us all and showcases the true power of sport as a force for good.

"With the right guidance, young people up and down the country can feel inspired to follow in Mo’s very large footsteps."

Like the One Formation Facebook page to see more of the videos as the Sporting Heroes series continues.

Getting involved in sport marked the start of Mohammed Mostafa turning his life around.

Getting involved in sport marked the start of Mohammed Mostafa turning his life around.

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