While back in Edinburgh last week I managed to catch up with Craig and Zakia from The Homeless World Cup – the charity I decided to hook up with when planning my world cycle. It had been sometime since I last saw them properly it was good to hear that the world cup in Poland had gone well.
As we chatted we discussed some of the challenges they face in getting people on board at times to support their work. On the face of it, who wants to give money to help what seems like a few folk to travel the globe for a game of footy? However, looking beyond the showcase event it’s staggering to hear how many people globally the event has an impact on. It’s estimated that around 77, 000 people are supported.
The world cup event provides the drive and inspiration for homeless football leagues and it is the catalyst, the hope and focal point for training. It provides a place where those who are isolated and lonely get to meet. It gives a forum to introduce other support agencies in to help those who find them selves struggling amidst a variety of circumstances. Sport is used to drive health, fight addictions, encourage better eating and through team activity build trust and improve social skills. In individual countries the World Cup spurs many local leagues. Street Soccer, the Scottish league is now going from strength to strength following some initial start up help firm Firstport – the charity I used to lead. It really is more than just a game of footy.
Last week Mel Young, founder of the Big Issue and Homeless World Cup tweeted about supporting them in their bid to build a virtual stadium. It’s an innovative fundraising plan whereby you can secure your seat andin so doing help build a stronger base from which more folk can get health, work in building a home and critically, have hope for the future.
No-one buys a lottery ticket to win a tenner! The main draw is the big prize and while the World Cup may be the main event but there are many helped along the way.
Please support them if you can.Here is a link to their web site http://www.hwcsc.com/
Or you can visit my fundraising page on www.bikemind.co.uk.
Finally, here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2014.