Slum Soccer, an organisation that uses football as a tool for the social upliftment of downtrodden demographics and at-risk youth, has announced that it has partnered with the Tata Trusts and the Football Players Association of India (FPAI) for Team India’s participation in the Homeless World Cup 2016, which is an annual football tournament focusing on advocating a global awareness of and a solution to homelessness. The current edition of the Homeless World Cup kicked off in Glasgow on July 9.
Slum Soccer, India’s official partner to the Homeless World Cup for a decade, is using football as the medium to transcend race, religion, language and gender to bring about a change in the lives of slum dwellers through the beautiful game. With more than 8000 at-risk youth enrolled in 37 centres across India, Slum Soccer has specific programmes tailored around the medium of football that focus on matters ranging from literacy and gender equality to de-addiction and natural resource management. The Indian teams for the Homeless World Cup have been selected through extensive trials from this vast catchment pool of underrepresented talent.
Dr Abhijeet Barse, Slum Soccer CEO, said “We believe that the power of football can equip people with the skills and confidence to improve their lives. We are glad that our partners, Tata Trusts and FPAI, also buy into this vision completely. We have seen participants transform their lives after their experiences at the Homeless World Cup, and the current Indian teams have travelled to Glasgow with the same dreams in their hearts.”
Speaking about the partnership, Biswanath Sinha, Associate Programme Director, Tata Trusts said, “Tata Trusts has a decade-long history of being associated with sports in a multitude of ways. While we have always had a focus on education, we believe that when it is layered with sports and integrated adequately it helps to make good people who will ultimately do good for themselves and their societies. We are delighted to support this initiative and commend this effort towards providing equal opportunities in the field of sport.”
The General Manager of the FPAI said, “The Football Players Association of India is delighted to partner Slum Soccer. This is just the start. We will engage ourselves in a bigger and better manner in the years to come to promote this noble cause and encourage people from all walks of life to take to the game! Best of luck to both teams at the World Cup.”
As the key partner, Tata Trusts has provided a bulk of the financial support facilitating Team India’s successful participation in the tournament. As the official kit partner, the FPAI provided the Indian men and women teams with high-quality kits in the trademark India blue and white colours – kits that the team members are sure to wear with grins and gusto.
The Homeless World Cup has been a ringing endorsement for the power of sport for development over the last 15 years. It has touched the lives of more than 100,000 homeless people, advocating global awareness of and solution to homelessness, and facilitated the exchange of ideas and experiences among homeless people from more than 60 countries. With over 64 teams and 512 players being represented from 52 countries this year, the Homeless World Cup 2016 serves as a platform to explore and scout football talent.