Getting involved with Street Football Wales
_SFW promotes social inclusion and encourages individuals to take an active role in their own lives through achievement and self development.
The people we aim to support are those furthest away from mainstream support provision who are likely to be homeless and/or socially excluded because of this. Positive involvement with the project can help to benefit participants, their families and their local communities.
Once engaged, participants receive direct support or signposting to professional specialist agencies to enable them to achieve positive outcomes and greater independence.
Partner organisations include statutory and voluntary organisations in the regions we target. They benefit from participant involvement through the reduction of costs associated with social deprivation such as offending and anti-social behaviour.
Homeless World Cup
In 2001, Mel Young and Harald Schmied developed the idea of utilising sport to inspire homeless people to transform their futures. The international language of football seemed an obvious vehicle, and the Homeless World Cup was born. The first tournament was held in 2003 in Graz, Austria.
The Homeless World Cup now operates via a network of 74 national partners, supporting football-based programmes and social enterprise development around the world.
Our street football partners operate in 420 cities, reaching 100,000 homeless people every year. So far, the Homeless World Cup and its partners have impacted the lives of 1 million homeless people around the globe.
The 13th Homeless World Cup football tournament will take place in Holland in September 2015.
40-year-old Newbridge, South Wales.
Amsterdam 2015 men's welsh captain.
Wayne suffered for many years from substance abuse and eventually found himself homeless. With nowhere else to go, he started living in a homeless hostel in Cardiff. It was then that he connected with Street Football Wales (SFW), the Homeless World Cup National Partner in Wales.
“Being involved in SFW has helped me build my confidence, make new friends and give me a focus that I didn’t have before,” said Wayne. “When I was addicted to drugs, my life was empty and hopeless and I couldn’t see a way forward. The only place I lived was in my own head and I couldn’t see past my own hands. To go from that to a brand new world where I played football with people from all over the world is just amazing and has helped change my perspective. My life and my world has become a whole lot bigger and better thanks to Street Football Wales and the Homeless World Cup.”
Wayne’s has not only improved his own life through sport, he is now determined to help others do the same and “to be of use to people who are less fortunate…people in active addiction, prison system and to offer young offenders a different path in life.” Wayne will be starting a new volunteer role in SFW and is also hoping to volunteer with Gibran, a UK organisation aimed at the reintegration of ex-offenders.
Wayne has a message for anyone facing similar challenges to him. “Get involved with sports or activities that help with any forms of mental health. Give it a go, you might enjoy it and it could help change your life for the better.”
"When I’m on that pitch with a football, all my troubles disappear.”
Ebbw Vale South Wales.
Amsterdam 2015 women's plate winning welsh captain.
She heard about SFW when she was being supported by Llamau, a homeless organisation in Wales.
“They told me [about] a street football female-only tester day” she said. “I used to love football but hadn’t played for a bit so thought I’d give it a go. I absolutely loved the day and after that got involved with the SFW League and was invited to Selection Day for the Homeless World Cup Team. SFW reminded me how much I love playing football and I now have friends from around the world!”
Rachel says that football helped her improve her life and she urges anyone facing similar challenges to “give sport a chance.” She also credits part of her success to the Homeless World Cup. “I was completely surprised by the Homeless World Cup and never thought in my wildest dreams that it would be so good. To lead my country and win the Women’s Plate competition with my amazing teammates was something I’ll never ever forget. I just wish I could do it all again.”
With new secure employment and well in the path to a better life, Rachel has a message for potential Homeless World Cup players: “If you are ever lucky enough to play at the Homeless World Cup, embrace every second, meet as many players from around the world as you can and don’t give up.”
“But most importantly, keep dancing and smiling. That is what we did and we loved every second.”