Choice were proud to sponsor the Street Soccer NI team who have returned from a successful Homeless World Cup in Mexico.
Every year, the Homeless World Cup Foundation delivers an inspirational week-long street football tournament that brings together more than 500 players representing 50+ countries around the world, all of which have faced homelessness and social marginalisation.
Soccer attended the Homeless World Cup in Mexico City which was the 6th World Cup adventure. They brought a homeless men’s team and women’s team away for the 10-day trip. The men finished 29th overall in their tournament with the women finishing 14th in their competition. To top off a great 10 days in the sun we picked up two awards, one for Best Female Coaches and one for Best Female player which Kiera Moss picked up after scoring an incredible 35 goals.
Justin McMinn Manager and Co-Founder of Street Soccer ‘This was a once in a lifetime trip for the players, an experience they will never forget. Traveling across the world to represent your country has a huge impact on the players giving them confidence and motivation to make positive changes in their lives.’
Players involved in the World Cup squads start training around 4 months before the trip and get intensive support to meet their needs including employment, housing, mental health and addictions. Over the years we have witnessed many players break out of homelessness and unemployment on their return and become volunteers with the project.
Joleen Larkin from North Belfast ‘Being a part of the team has impacted me by feeling like I belong apart of something in life. Being involved in the World Cup has made me feel more confident within myself & helped me believe I can do anything I put my mind to. Also getting to meet a lot of other people who are going through the same thing as you makes you feel like you’re not alone in the world.’
Marc Cross from Derry says ‘Best experience of my life, brilliant football, brilliant people, meeting different countries, unreal. I recommend it definitely. …. I’m going to go back to Derry and try and get more people involved in Street Soccer and get them over for the Homeless World Cup next year in Cardiff.’
Next up for us is the 2019 Homeless World Cup taking place in Cardiff from 27th July – 3rd August. We are seeking new players who have experienced homelessness at some point since July 2018 to try out for the teams. Trials will be held in Belfast and Derry during April. Contact us for more information.
Street Soccer NI is a charity which uses football to transform the lives of people who are homeless and disadvantaged. We run 8 weekly sessions in Belfast and Derry open for anyone over 16 to join in. You don’t need to be homeless to join in our sessions. We also help with transport, kit and equipment if needed.
Weekly times and locations
Mon: Ashfield Boys School, 8pm (East Belfast)
Tues: Waterworks, 1.30pm (North Belfast)
Wed: Grosvenor Community Centre, 9pm (West Belfast)
Thursday: Skainos, East Belfast 6pm (Women)
Friday: Shaftesbury Community Centre, 1.30pm (South Belfast)
Thursday: Magee Campus, 8pm
For more information contact Justin McMinn: Tel 07704904714 or 90458560, Email: justin@streetsoccerni
Twitter and Facebook: @ Street Soccer NI