The influx of refugees into Europe around 2015 has led to increasingly restrictive immigration policies and a rising political interest in using sport to promote such newcomers’ state of health and integration into European communities. This perspective is echoed in both research and programmes that are often one-sided in focusing on refugees’ sports participation in the receiving context, while their former experiences and specific interests in sport and physical activity are often neglected. Contributing with transnational and postcolonial perspectives, this article is based on a series of life history interviews with four newly arrived refugees who have taken up roles as volunteers in sports clubs in Denmark. Such trajectories are identified as bearing on their homeland experiences, while taking up volunteering also appears as an escape from their current position as ‘Others’. Further, we discuss how newcomers may challenge dominant discourses on sports-specific volunteering and develop new hybrid forms of civic involvement.