Thanks to a generous Neighbourhood Small Grant from the Vancouver Foundation, on August 31, the VSSL brought their skills to East Vancouver’s Gaston Park. Eight teams – not just VSSL regulars, but also teams representing the Vancouver Southsiders, the Vancouver YMCA, and the Baha’i Twin Arrows – did battle on a day of glorious sunshine. All in all, it was a brilliant event, organized impeccably by Lurdes and Arun.
Once all the games had been played, there could only be one champion: Portland FC.
But, as is always the case with VSSL events, the real winner was soccer:
(For plenty more photos, check out our Facebook page.)
The inaugural Homeless World Cup was held in Graz, Austria in 2003. Since then, it has grown into an annual event which brings together teams from around seventy countries, and supports grass-roots football programmes and social enterprise development all year round. The Vancouver Street Soccer League has previously sent players to the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 tournaments, held in Milan, Rio de Janeiro, Paris and Mexico City respectively.
This year’s Homeless World Cup was held in Poznan, Poland between the 11th and 18th of August. Two of the Vancouver Street Soccer League’s most dedicated players, Taran and Dennis, were chosen by Street Soccer Canada to represent Team Canada at the event.
Team Canada didn’t bring the trophy home, but they did record wins against Australia, Finland, South Korea, and Germany. What’s more, following consultation against the tournament referees, they brought home arguably the biggest prize of all: the Fair Play award.
To see a full record of the scores, check out Street Canada’s page. To watch full match highlights of all the games, check out the Homeless World Cup’s YouTube channel.