USING THE POWER OF SPORT TO CHANGE LIVES
Street Soccer promotes social inclusion and personal change for participants by providing support and promoting participation, inclusiveness, commitment and team spirit.
|Organisation||The Big Issue
||2007 – ongoing
|Target group age
||Over 16 years old
||OOver 5,000 people since its creation
||Nike, Australian Government, Melbourne Heart and regional partners
||The Big Issue hosted the Homeless World Cup in 2008
The Community Street Soccer Programme, known as Street Soccer, uses the power of sport to promote social inclusion and personal change for homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people. It changes lives and creates healthier communities across Australia. Initiated in 2007, the Community Street Soccer Programme has engaged more than 5,000 persons. Over this period, many participants have reported positive changes in their lives, thanks to the opportunities Street Soccer has created for personal outcomes in pre-employment, employment, health and housing.
KEYS TO SUCCESS
Social benefits to the community
In addition to the direct impact on individual participants, Street Soccer is a cost-effective social change programme that saves money for the Australian taxpayer. An independent study on the programme’s economic impact found that participation in Street Soccer had led to individual behaviour change and a reduction in high-risk activities.
Participants are deeply engaged in the programme. People who in many cases have given up on counselling and traditional support systems and services are helped in an efficient way. The person is put at the centre of the solution and the programme provides them with the support and tools necessary to make positive changes to their lives.
The Big Issue
SPORT FOR ALL OBJECTIVES
Promote sport and physical activity
The programme uses football as a catalyst for transforming lives and providing participants with a sense of purpose and belonging. Participation in sport is at the heart of the project, where participants get together once a week for training and matches. Permanent pitches, playing equipment and a dedicated coach are provided at each location.
Provide equal access to sport
The programme uses sport to promote social inclusion and personal change for homeless, marginalised and disadvantaged people. It aims to create healthier communities and social change, encouraging participation, inclusiveness, commitment and team spirit.
HOW IS THE PROGRAMME COMMUNICATED?
The programme uses a mix of different channels for communication including “The Big Issue Magazine”, press releases and social media.
HOW IS THE PROGRAMME EVALUATED?
The evaluation focuses on solutions that fix the causes of homelessness (e.g. domestic and family violence, social isolation, drug and alcohol dependency, unemployment) rather than the outcomes, such as a lack of housing.