Street Soccer Canada creates local soccer teams and takes Team Canada to the Homeless World Cup each year. Using sport to foster social inclusion, SSC provides a unique vehicle for engaging marginalized populations and connecting them to existing social supports and broader society.
Street Soccer Canada is a catalyst for lasting change and creates maximum social impact for the players involved, including people who are socially excluded, homeless and others living in poverty. Integrating sport and social/economic development programs, together we can change the way social support agencies engage, inspire, empower, support and motivate people and communities, and promote health.
Our players speak for themselves in celebrating this work. Paula, SSC Team player recently said to a reporter: "I had been in a recovery program. I had chronic lung disease. In the last four months, because of this program, I quit smoking and I quit smoking drugs. Before I wasn’t able to walk up five steps. Because of this program, now I’m running around and my lung capacity has improved by 50 %. It’s great for me to have the camaraderie of the other women, to be getting in shape, it’s easing me back out into the world. It’s just phenomenal."
About STREET SOCCER CANADA
Virtually all key determinants of health are adversely impacted for people who become homeless. The lack of physical activity and cognitive stimulation leads to a downward spiral. An upward spiral also exists: as people become more physically active and cognitively engaged in communities, their physical, health improves.
People become more resilient, less prone to substance abuse, improve mental health, and are better able to find and keep housing, jobs, friends, and relationships. In inviting the support of the broader community, this reduces the stigma of homelessness.
Players themselves develop to leadership roles, an approach that works with the deeply held values of SSC leaders: respect for the dignity of each individual and active recovery through sport.