Welsh teams score a goal for change at homeless tournament
Players from Street Football Wales have returned from Poznan, Poland where they recently competed against teams from around the world in the Homeless World Cup football tournament.
Both teams enjoyed success at the tournament. The ‘Welsh Dragons’ male team beat Switzerland in the Quarter Finals of the Cup of Tolerance to take 4th place. The ‘Welsh Warriors’ female team, who attended the Homeless World Cup for the first time this year, defeated the USA by an impressive 5-0 in the Semi Finals of the Equality Cup to reach 2nd place. The girls narrowly missed a win against England, who stole the cup in the Finals with a penalty shootout to win 5-4. In another first for Street Football Wales, Paul Scarfi, the Welsh Dragons’ coach was also awarded Coach of the Tournament.
Speaking of the tournament Paul Scanlon, Welsh Dragons Captain, said: "Returning to the Homeless World Cup has been such a great experience. We have been training hard and looking forward to visiting Poland and it has been great to experience the city and the tournament with the rest of the players. It has also been great meeting people like ourselves from other countries and sharing our love of football".
Claire Rogers, Welsh Warriors Captain said “Being a member of the first SFW female team to go to the Homeless World cup has been amazing. We were all a bit nervous and didn’t quite know what to expect but the trip was so exciting and meeting other female teams from all around the world was brilliant. Coming 2nd in the Equality Cup was also great, we’re a bit gutted we didn’t beat England, but there’s always next year!”
The Homeless World Cup was set up in 2001 to improve the lives of homeless people throughout the world through the provision of an international football tournament. The tournament has now grown to a network of over 70 international partner organisations that participate in the annual event, which has been hosted in countries including Mexico, South Africa, France and Luxembourg.
Keri Harris, Street Football Wales Manager said “We are all thrilled with our time at Poland, with both our teams reaching the top 4 spots in their respective cups. It was a fantastic week of sport but the Homeless World Cup is not just about winning, it’s about giving people the chance to come together with like-minded individuals from around the World to celebrate making changes to their lives and overcoming adversity. I couldn’t be more proud of the teams for showing such dedication, team work and good spirit throughout the tournament. Thank you to all of our sponsors, who have supported our players to attend training sessions and have helped fund our trip to Poland, our success would not have been possible without their generosity.”