Posted on May 17, 2011
Did you know that we’ve started a soccer team in Whalley that will be connected to the Vancouver Street League? Shawn Forde and Michael Cash brought the idea to NightShift and this month we started bringing soccer to the street. The Vancouver Street League is affiliated with Street Soccer Canada, which is a national partner of the Homeless World Cup, described as: a unique, pioneering social enterprise which exists to end homelessness. It uses football (soccer) to energize homeless people to change their own lives. Each year the Homeless World Cup is hosted in a major world city. It involves national teams from all over the world that are made up of homeless players. Street Soccer Canada has teams across the country and has been growing in the Lower Mainland with a number of teams in Vancouver, as well as one in North Vancouver. It exists to be a catalyst for lasting change in a way that creates maximum social impact for the players involved, including the socially excluded and those living in poverty. The programs connected to Street Soccer Canada are based around grass-roots, community-organized initiatives. Each community has the ability to develop and implement a program that will benefit their community the most. In Whalley the program will be developed with input from NightShift. There are many benefits associated with the program including
- Health and physical benefits associated with exercise
- Allowing participants a chance to develop a wider net of social connections – in the local community with NightShift and various recovery houses, as well as regionally with other street soccer teams within the Vancouver Street League
- Begining to breakdown stigma within the community regarding homelessness
- Providing a public safe space for participants to connect and gain a sense of achievement.
It’s a fairly low-cost initiative. Farpost Soccer will provide balls and goalposts. Over time we’ll need soccer shoes for participants, cones for training sessions, and possibly athletic clothing for participants. But to get the ball rolling we first of all need players to come and check us out on Wednesdays 4-5:30 pm and Saturdays 5-6:30 pm at the Tom Binnie Field (106 Ave / 125 Street). All are welcome, everybody plays!