Football teams from Wales are set to compete in this year’s Homeless World Cup, thanks to £10,000 of Welsh Government investment.
The funding will enable social inclusion charity Street Football Wales (SFW) to send a Welsh women’s team and men’s team to the event in Oslo this summer.
The announcement comes as SFW takes part today in a demonstration match on a floating pitch on Roald Dahl Plass to mark the Champions League Final in Cardiff.
The Homeless World Cup is an annual football tournament organised by the Homeless World Cup organisation which advocates the end of homelessness through football.
The 2017 tournament, which will mark the 15th edition of the HWC, will be held in Oslo, Norway from August 29 until September 5, 2017. About 70 countries and over 750 players are expected to take part.
Street Football Wales, which is hosted by Pobl Group, operate a football league for men and women across Wales and representatives from the league make up the teams who compete for Wales in the HWC.
Michael Sheen OBE, patron of Street Football Wales said:
“It is fantastic that Welsh Government have joined the team at Street Football Wales and along with other partners are backing them to go all the way at the Homeless World Cup in Oslo! The team works incredibly hard to raise the funds to enter the tournament each year and this grant will make a huge difference. I’ll be there to cheer them on and I hope this is the beginning of everyone in Wales getting behind their national teams for the Homeless World Cup!”
The Minister for Social Services and Public Health, Rebecca Evans, said:
“I met Street Football Wales recently and saw the difference their projects can make to people’s lives, not only in regards to health and wellbeing, but also in terms of self-confidence and personal development.
“I made a commitment to do all we can to support SFW to send a team to the Homeless World Cup, which is why I am delighted to announce this funding today. I am sure the teams will do a fantastic job of representing Wales on the world stage and I wish them all the very best of luck!”
Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant, said:
“I’m delighted that thanks to Welsh Government funding we are able to send a team to the Homeless World Cup. Street Football Wales are doing a great job in improving the lives of people who face social exclusion through homelessness. Having a home gives people a sense of belonging and emotional wellbeing. This is why providing people with a safe, warm and secure home remains a key priority for me. I wish the teams well in their forthcoming games.”
Keri Harris, Project Leader for Street Football Wales said:
“Street Football Wales makes a life changing difference to hundreds of vulnerable people across Wales. Representing Wales at the Homeless World Cup is one of the many ambitions our players share. This grant makes taking a Welsh male and female team to Oslo an exciting reality that will inspire people across Wales.”