YMCA DLG Horsham Y Centre resident Hannah Voice will be jetting off to Amsterdam on Saturday 12th September to play for Team England at the 2015 Homeless World Cup.
The Homeless World Cup started in 2001 and this year teams from 63 countries will be playing for the trophies. The Homeless World Cup mission is to use football to inspire homeless people to change their own lives. Team England for The Homeless World Cup is selected and managed by The Homeless FA.
Hannah was selected to play for Women’s Team England from hundreds of players across the country after successfully completing Homeless FA’s Training programme. The six week training programme is run in partnership with professional football clubs across England and the Sussex one was delivered at the Brighton & Hove Albion stadium.
Hannah came to the YMCA DLG Horsham Y Centre supported housing project after she had a family breakdown and had to move out of her parents’ home. Hannah has been at the Y Centre for over a year now and has managed to make many positives changes to her life, including getting back into playing football.
Hannah said, “This opportunity is something I am honoured to have been given. It has really changed my life. I can’t thank everybody enough who has helped make this happen”.
Horsham Y Centre Learning and Engagement Coordinator Kevin Budge said, “Hannah has done herself proud, she has battled through some tough personal issues and got this far due to her perseverance, enthusiasm and her sparkling personality. She used to play a lot and this opportunity has helped rekindle her passion for the game, I wish her and the team luck at the world cup and look forward to helping further Hannah’s skills and knowledge back in Horsham through playing for her local team and coaching others”
All Homeless World Cup players have experienced homelessness or social exclusion and unlike any other England team, players are not picked according to their footballing ability, or age. Instead, players are selected with a particular focus on positive attitude, teamwork, commitment, interpersonal skills, and improved physical health.
The Homeless World Cup football tournament has its own special rules. The fast-paced games are 4-a-side and played in two halves of seven minutes each, with a one minute break for halftime. Women’s and men’s teams compete for separate cups—however women can play on the men’s teams. Each team consists of up to eight players, four of which—three field players and one goalie—are on the court at a time.
Image: Homeless FA Team England Female squad. Hannah Voice pictured fourth from left. Image credit: Metin Osman and Joana Freitas