Monday, February 18, 2019

Kicking It With the Homeless

by J. La Mont (writer), , October 06, 2006


Football season is in full swing and the baseball playoffs are just heating up but I've been keeping an eye on the World Cup in South Africa. Not that World Cup of big salaries and bigger egos fightin

In 2003 the Homeless World Cup began with five teams as a way to promote awareness to the plight of the homeless and a way to motivate them off the streets. This week 500 players from 48 countries are competing in Cape Town, South Africa in front of thousands of adoring fans.

This isn't your normal futbol. The pace is fast with each team having four players on the field playing seven-minute periods. The fields are makeshift in a large parking lot with each pitch the size of an average tennis court. The only familiar part is that the U.S. has failed to finish in the top three.

At first I thought this was a PR stunt by European activists to get in the news and in reality that probably does play a role but it's more than that. One of the main goals is to give the athletes an achievable goal after strings of failures and hopelessness.

The best part is it may be working. Mel Young, president and co-founder of the event says, "What happens here is a major thing. They're standing singing the national anthem, they're representing their country proudly, they're playing in a competition which is real, and people are according them respect and taking them seriously."

A survey found after the last Homeless World Cup that 80% of participants had changed their lives for the better whether it was seeking training, beating drugs or finding employment.

I don't think a checkered ball is the magic bullet solution to L.A.'s problems but it's heartening to see people successfully tackling the issue from a different perspective and who knows maybe sometime soon the World Cup will be in Santa Monica. We could use all the help and hope we can get.

About the Writer

J. La Mont is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on Kicking It With the Homeless

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By Barbara88 on May 31, 2014 at 05:39 am

Ok that is so nice project pozycjonowanie

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