Showing posts with label World Soccer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World Soccer. Show all posts

August 28, 2011

Using Soccer Skills to Combat Homelessness

Before we talk about soccer and homelessness, let's have a quick think about those less fortunate than ourselves. More than 1/6th of the world's population is homeless. And if that doesn't shock you in itself, have a look at the statistics country-by-country.

So, what does soccer have to do with any of this? Each year, the Homeless World Cup brings together amateur soccer players from across the world to play football on common ground - but unlike the FIFA World Cup, participants of this competition come from war-torn or poor or disadvantaged backgrounds. The Homeless World Cup began in 2003, and since then more than 200,000 players have participated. Remarkably, more than 70% of these have changed their lives in positive, healthy ways: by gaining work, beating addiction, reestabilishing relationships, and finding homes.

How does that happen? What's the magic formula to turn these lives around?

#1 - you take a game loved by millions around the world, played on fields and streets and rooftops, with or without shoes

#2 - you bring together people from around the world who have two things in common: difficult living circumstances and a love of soccer

#3 - you encourage, cheer, and teach these people via soccer. In the process of learning more about the skills needed to perform well on the field, they also learn life skills.

If you're interested, you can read more about the link between skills in soccer and skills in life in a recent NY Times article, here. But even if you don't click through, I'd encourage you to think about this notion for a moment:
What skills transfer from the field to everyday adult life?
How can we teach our children life lessons via soccer?
It's worth thinking about. As is homelessness.
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