Participants from two of Saints Foundation’s social inclusion programmes, Saints4Sport and Saints Street FC, travelled to Brussels last week to take part in the annual Belgian Homeless Cup.
It was the third consecutive year that the Foundation has attended the event, which engages with people who have been homeless or are at risk of homelessness.
Twenty teams and 150 players enjoyed the three-day festival, with Saints Foundation's side being the only English representatives.
The tournament followed the international Street Football 4v4 format, where fair play is encouraged above all. As tradition dictates, players also helped out in the kitchens to assist with meal preparation.
The Saints4Sport and Saints Street FC participants were selected as a reward for their hard work in overcoming their own barriers and challenges.
Saints4Sport offers a structured timetable of activity to adults who have faced some of life’s biggest challenges and helps put purpose back into their lives, while Saints Street FC gives young adults, aged 16-24, who are not in education, training or employment the opportunity to learn life skills and the game of Street Football.
Mike Dixon, NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and Vulnerable Adult Senior Project Officer, said: “It was an incredible event that all of the Saints4Sport and Saints Street FC participants thoroughly enjoyed.
“There was fantastic camaraderie and spirit between the teams throughout the whole three days and it really was a celebration of the strength and determination these people have shown in the face of some of life’s toughest challenges.
“It was also a great reward to our team for their commitment and engagement with our programmes and hopefully they have taken away some brilliant memories.”