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Tournament to find best homeless football team in England

The following is a press release issued by Barbara Smith on behalf of Chapter 1.


Tournament to find best homeless football team in England
Chapter 1 co-ordinates event in Manchester on Tuesday 15 May

Street 2 Feet is a national homeless football championship being co-ordinated by Chapter 1. On Tuesday 15 May 32 five-a-side teams from across the country will come together at The Pits in Manchester to compete for the title best homeless team in England.

The tournament has been selected by the Homeless FA as the England celebration of UEFA’s Grass Roots Day 2012.

 

Gareth Parker, Head of the Homeless FA, said: ‘We have chosen to showcase this particular project as it is a great example of grassroots homeless football. Chapter 1 The Limes really stands out for the way in which they’ve developed the potential of football in such a positive way.'

The tournament will be played on quality Astroturf pitches and officiated by FA qualified referees. There will be qualifying rounds in the morning and knock-out stages after lunch. Alongside the main trophy and runner-up award, prizes will be given to the ‘player of the tournament’ and a ‘fair play’ award for the captain of the team who have best demonstrated proper conduct within the spirit of the game.

 

Chapter 1’s Dean Ashton, who has organised the event, said: something like: ‘Chapter 1 The Limes’ aim is to put on a great sporting event, raise awareness of homelessness, and demonstrate the positive impact of sport. This is our second national tournament and our fifth annual tournament. We hope it will become an annual event, and maybe even a launch pad for creating an inter-hostel sports academy.’

Pauline Gaye, manager of Chapter 1 The Limes, said: ‘We offer residents sports leadership training, official coaching qualifications and volunteering opportunities. The benefits are wider reaching. Sport increases self-esteem and team work, encourages a healthy life-style and improves employability. It can change young lives for the better, forever.’

Chapter 1’s Operations Director, Ged Sutcliffe, said: ‘At Chapter 1 all our service users have an individual support programme and activities to meet their needs. The Manchester sports initiative demonstrates how much disadvantaged young people can achieve, once they are engaged in positive activity. It’s a stepping stone towards breaking the downward cycle of homelessness. In the last three years more than a 100 young men have moved on from Chapter 1 The Limes to live independently in the community.’

This year’s teams are not just travelling from across the North West but from homeless organisations as far as far away as Bristol, Nuneaton and Torquay. Fifteen are from Greater Manchester. Seven are from Chapter 1 projects around England.

The organisers of Street 2 Feet would like to thank all the individuals and organisations who support them including Manchester FA, StreetLeague, StreetGames, Sport4Life, Power League, Homeless Link, Homeless FA, Greggs the Bakers and Marks & Spencer.

Chapter 1 provides accommodation and related support services to help vulnerable people enjoy a more fulfilled life. It is a charity, based on Christian principles, which offers human compassion and practical support to meet people’s needs respecting their faith, culture and social background. Currently Chapter 1 works in partnership with 29 local authorities and has a growing network of 40 projects across England.

The Limes is a supported housing project run by Chapter 1 in Manchester for 26 single men aged 16 to 30.

The Homeless FA supports all initiatives that use football as a means of improving the lives of homeless people in England. We believe that every person has the potential to change their lives positively and that football can facilitate such a transformation. We use football to give every person experiencing homelessness in Englandthe opportunity to develop their skills and abilities, to gain self-respect and confidence, to improve their health, and ultimately to transform their life. Central to our work is promoting positive self-perception of our players while challenging and changing the public perception of homeless people. We encourage the homelessness sector to utilise the power of football, and demonstrate to the sporting world the potential of football to support the most vulnerable members of society.