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Get In Behind The Homeless World Cup

Wed 29 October, 2008

Get In Behind The Homeless World Cup

Local charity urges Kiwis to help change lives through donations for New Zealand's first Homeless World Cup team.

For the first time ever New Zealand is entering a team of homeless people to compete in the Homeless World Cup being in Melbourne in December 2008.

Established in Edinburgh in 2003, the Homeless World Cup (HWC) is an international street football tournament that aims to unite teams of people who are homeless to take a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent their country and turn their lives around.

To raise funds for New Zealand's inaugural team, Auckland's leading charity for the homeless, LIFEWISE, is holding the country's premiere screening of Kicking It, the internationally acclaimed film about homelessness and the power of sports to change lives.

Directed by Susan Koch and narrated by Colin Farrell, Kicking It is a feature documentary film that follows six players drawn from different corners of the world as they prepare for the 2006 HWC in Cape Town.

The New Zealand team for the 2008 HWC comprises of Auckland and Wellington-based homeless people who have been training for a large part of the year to compete against around 60 other countries in Melbourne, from 1-6 December.

"I've seen what taking part in this event can mean for homeless people in the UK. That's what drives me to get homeless soccer established here in New Zealand. I can already see change in the players - making the team was a real boost for them," comments Steve McLuckie, client support worker at LIFEWISE.

LIFEWISE and the New Zealand campaign organisers, Street Football Aotearoa*, are reliant on sponsorship and community donations to support the 2008 team. Proceeds from the fundraising screening of Kicking It will go towards this year's campaign, as well as towards the ongoing work of involving homeless people in sport.

Film date: Tuesday 18th November Venue: Academy Cinema (under the Auckland Library) Time: 6pm for 6.30pm screening Tickets: $25 including pre-movie refreshments

The Homeless World Cup claims that the impact of participating in the competition is significant every year, with 73% of players changing their lives for the better by coming off drugs and alcohol, moving into jobs, education, homes, training, and reuniting with families.

To buy a ticket for Kicking It or for more information about the screening visit www.lifewise.org.nz or contact Kei Judd (LIFEWISE) on 09 302 5390.

* Street Football Aotearoa is the official New Zealand charity partner of the Homeless World Cup. It was established by experienced UK HWC volunteers Tom Kelly and Katie Owen so that New Zealand could participate in the international competition.

ENDS

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