Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Healing a Soul with Sport

Newspaper article Coffs Coast Advocate (Coffs Harbour, Australia)

Healing a Soul with Sport

Article excerpt

THIS is a story that is sure to warm your heart a a story which proves sport really can heal the soul.

Bangalow Bluedogs under-15 soccer player Mory Kone has all the skills you could wish for.

Mory won the best player of his under-15 division at last week's Kanga Cup in Canberra a the biggest junior soccer tournament in the southern hemisphere.

Mory can kick a ball so hard that he breaks his own backyard goalposts. He is also lightning fast, but best of all is his mental strength.

He arrived in Bangalow as a five-year-old to live with his Aunty Bintou who married Goonellabah-raised Jason Burns.

This was after Mory lost his father in the brutal civil war of 2002 in his native Odiene on the Ivory Coast.

aI'm lucky to be out here,a the quietly spoken Mory said. aIt's hard (on the Ivory Coast). There are no fields to play on, just dirt pitches.a

His uncle Jason said Mory had come a long way since moving to Australia.

aHe just lived on the street in the Ivory Coast and ran wild,a Mr Burns said.

aHe never went to school, just played soccer all day. He had to lie and steal just to get by.

aIt was hard to talk to him when he first came out here but now everyone a his team-mates and school mates a they all love him.

aIn his last year of primary school at Byron Bay he had no shoes but someone gave him a pair for a running race ... and he broke the school record.a

Now Mory has every opportunity to make a career out of soccer, he is doing everything he can to realise his dream.

aMory said he wants to play for Real Madrid,a Bluedogs under-15 coach Jim Gelagotis said. aMory has the talent to go far if he applies himself and with my knowledge I can get him there.a

Gelagotis holds the key for Mory and his dreams to play at the very top.

The shrewd mentor is well connected in soccer circles. …

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