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Homeless World Cup wins ‘Great Sport Story of the Year’ award

Homeless World Cup flag

The Homeless World Cup will be recognized with an award by Sport Wales and BBC Wales.

Supporters in Cardiff walking to the game
Thousands of football fans gathered in Cardiff to attend the annual event. // Credits: Mile 44, https://www.milefourtyfour.com

The Homeless World Cup in Cardiff won the first ‘The Great Sport Story of the Year’ awarded by Sport Wales and BBC Cymru Wales.

The 17th edition of the World Cup took place during the summer of 2019 in Cardiff’s ever recognisable Bute Park and on 3rd December the event was awarded the ‘The Great Sport Story of the Year.’

BBC Cymru Wales and Sport Wales join forces annually to showcase the very best of elite and grassroots sport in Wales and will present the awards to the winners on the 10th of December at The Wales Sport Awards.

Micheal Sheen meeting the players before the game
Actor Micheal Sheen is a huge supporter of the foundation and continues to be involved with the organisation. // Credits: Daniel Lipinski/Soda-Visual, https://sodavisual.com

The Foundation said, “The Homeless World Cup Foundation is delighted to hear that the 2019 Cardiff Homeless World Cup has won the ‘The Great Sport Story of the Year’ award at the Wales Sport Awards. We would like to thank Micheal Sheen for his work in bringing the event to Wales and for his tireless efforts in fighting homelessness and inequality.”

The organisation operates through a network of more than 70 street football partners around the world to support the grassroots football programmes. They said, “The Homeless World Cup Foundation is a unique, pioneering charity which uses football to inspire people who are homeless to change their own lives.”

Every year, this network of partners selects more than 500 players to compete in the annual Homeless World Cup tournament. Among those participants, 94 percent say the Homeless World Cup positively impacted their lives.

A young homeless player displaying emotion before kick-off
The tournament inspires many to change their lives for the better and is a truly emotional experience. // Credits: Daniel Lipinski/Soda-Visual, https://sodavisual.com

The Foundation created $364 million in social capital through the year-round, worldwide programmes of its National Partners.

A survey conducted on spectators at Glasgow 2016 World Cup found that 83 percent say that they now have a better attitude towards the issue and the people involved as a result of attending the event.

“The people of Cardiff were extremely welcoming and ensured the level of support throughout the week was unforgettable,” according to a representative of the Foundation.

Team of homeless players from India hold their tier trophy.
48 teams from around the world compete in this diverse and empowering competition. // Credits: Daniel Lipinski/Soda-Visual, https://sodavisual.com

With roots as a social inclusion project the event has developed over the years and, they have received recognition from all around the globe, including UEFA and FIFPRO.

The Finnish city of Tampere will host the next edition of the Homeless World Cup in the summer of 2020.