The most worthy of international tournaments is almost upon us. Sunday night is draw night for the homeless world cup. The route to the final which takes places the following Sunday (that'll be the 7th) will be announced. It’s exciting. Heidi Klum won't be pulling the balls out of her bag, but it is exciting nonetheless. As an added bonus wee sleekit Sepp isn't there either.
The teams have been arriving all week. The team from Scotland came out of the gloomy rain to the warm shine of the Melbourne sun with big smiles on their faces. If you were ever looking for an example of how far the tournament has come and how far it’s brought the people it has embraced, they'd be one of many.
Nelson Mandela famously said, “Sport has the power to change the world.” The ripple effect of the homeless world cup which runs from the 1st to the 7th of December will be felt long afterwards. Within twelve months of 2005 Homeless World Cup in Edinburgh, 77% of players had changed their lives. They moved into education, homes, jobs, come off drugs and alcohol and improved and developed stronger social and family relationships. 12 players even got work in football as semi or professional coaches or players.
That makes the HWC a powerful thing. With 56 countries competing in men’s and women’s tournaments, this year’s HWC is the biggest yet. SBS's World Game will televise the final. Channel 10 in Oz are currently making a doco about the Street Socceroos. You know something’s working when the event is getting that kind of attention. People are really taking notice. And they should its really making a difference.
I’ve spent close to 20 hours in the last week or so trying to get it talked about, spruiked and promoted across a number of different online forums and blogs including the old facebook. I got into trouble there for sending lots of people the same message. Spam, apparently. Pish, if you ask me.
It’s fair to say I met with some success in some places and little or none in others.
A true believer in karma and justice of the poetic nature, I’ll not mention names. A couple of knuckleheads on the World Game’s forum for example will hopefully be shitting hedgehogs next time they sit down to squeeze their heads. I have to add here that I think the World Game's site is a solid one with great coverage of the beautiful game. They can't be held responsible for a few broadbanded lolly boilers.
There are some very decent peeps out there. This clip is well worth a look and it was posted by one of the many posters on the same forum... lovely music, lovely idea
Dougie Brimson, author and long term friend of this blog, has vowed to give the tournament a shout on his site. Jack Bell, soccer blogger extraordinaire at the New York Times blog Goal, is a gentleman lending his support and his blog - the US team Coach will post from the tournament. And Fiona Crawford, a foxy blogger putting the boot in for the girls at 442, is a gentle lady with plans for HWC coverage.
I hit up some more blogs to a range of responses, including ignored, and worse, removed.
I’ll be providing some scribbles and some updates here, but I’d ask you to look at the Homeless World Cup yourself, n maybe give somebody who needs it a hand up while you're there.