Heart welcomes Australia's Homeless World Cup selection

The 2013 Poznan Homeless World Cup runs this week in Poznan, Poland, from 11-18 August and Melbourne Heart FC is pleased to congratulate the Australian side competing in the tournament

The 2013 Poznan Homeless World Cup runs this week in Poznan, Poland, from 11-18 August and Melbourne Heart FC would like to congratulate the Australian side competing in this year's tournament.

This is Australia-s seventh time participating (previous tournaments include Edinburgh (2005), Cape Town (2006), Copenhagen (2007), Melbourne (2008 host), Milan (2009), Paris (2011), and Poznan (2013) and overall the 11th Homeless World Cup event which started in Graz, Austria back in 2003.

The HWC aims to bring attention to homelessness and rewrite myths and misconceptions by demonstrating the capacity of homeless people to achieve if given the opportunity.

Australian participants are selected from the national Community Street Soccer Program which is run in 16 locations around the country (six in Victoria - Melbourne, Dandenong, Ballarat, Geelong, Morwell and a Women-s only program in Melbourne).

As a social inclusion program, it uses sport, specifically soccer, as a means of helping homeless and marginalised people to improve their lives. Melbourne Heart is proud to have a long-standing partnership with the Victorian Community Street Soccer Program (apart of The Big Issue).

Every season Street Soccer participants get to form a close bond with the Club through attending Melbourne Heart matches, playing on the AAMI Park pitch in a half time demonstration, and through Melbourne Heart players visiting their monthly training sessions.

Melbourne Heart wishes the Australian team the best of luck and congratulates Victorian program players Susie, Rok and Bernie on making the team selection.

For more information about Street Soccer: visit the Big Issue website

For more information about the Homeless World Cup: visit the Homeless World Cup website

Click play on the video below to watch the Homeless World Cup video:

About the Homeless World Cup The Homeless World Cup uses the power of football to energise homeless people so they can change their own lives.

It supports grass-roots football programmes and social enterprise development via a network of 70 national partners and celebrates its work by organising an annual football tournament that unites teams of homeless people from countries all around the globe.

The Homeless World Cup was founded by Mel Young from Scotland and Harald Schmied from Austria, who came up with the idea at a conference on homelessness, in Cape Town in 2001. They both believed that it was possible to “change the lives of homeless people through football” and two years later in 2003, the first Homeless World Cup tournament took place in Graz in Austria.

Today, the main role of the organisation is to coordinate the work of its 70 national partners by providing support and guidance in football and management skills, to help grow and develop sustainable programmes which have a positive impact on the lives of homeless and excluded people all around the world.

At the annual Homeless World Cup tournament, the national partners come together to demonstrate how football has the power to change people's lives. The tournament also celebrates the year-round work of the organisation and creates an opportunity for players to represent their country and meet and build relationships with homeless people from other countries. It also lights up the hearts and minds of everyone it touches and changes people's attitudes to homelessness - in all cities where the tournament is held, people who are homeless report improved relations with the public.