enjoying the world cup? check out the homeless world cup!

I’m really enjoying the World Cup.  As I type, I’m watching Argentina play Korea.  I’m not an athlete, but soccer is one of my most favorite sports to watch, because the action is constant and the rules, once you understand the whole “offsides thing” are pretty easy to understand.  I just read a Don Miller post about whether or not soccer is the unifying “beautiful game” its fans say it is.  Don says no.  But I suspect he hasn’t seen a film I’ve seen.  That film is “Kicking It” and it’s about the Homeless World Cup.  You can check it out now on Netflix instant streaming.  I reviewed it this time last year, and thought I’d repost that review in honor of the World Cup:

The other night, Jon and I Netflixed a really great documentary called “Kicking It,” which is about the Homeless World Cup. It was a great film, focused on six individual players from different countries as they make their way onto teams and to South Africa to play soccer.

At first, it may seem like a strange form of outreach, forming soccer teams of homeless people. I mean, aren’t there other, more concrete things they need beyond a recreational activity? But soccer is more powerful than it may seem. Just being on a team, having goals, getting to celebrate small successes is a new experience for many of the players, who are often lonely outcasts, estranged from family, battling addictions. One player from Ireland was attempting to end a heroin addiction, and being on the soccer team in essence gave him a reason to keep living, a reason for his mother to finally be proud of him, a reason to get clean. Another player from America had been abused and rejected by his family, and was dealing with lots of anger and abandonment issues, but being on a team was sort of his first experience in a functioning “family,” one that expected him to deal with his anger in more appropriate ways. Continue reading “enjoying the world cup? check out the homeless world cup!”

kicking it, kicking homelessness

The other night, Jon and I Netflixed a really great documentary called “Kicking It,” which is about the Homeless World Cup.  It was a great film, focused on six individual players from different countries as they make their way onto teams and to South Africa to play soccer.

At first, it may seem like a strange form of outreach, forming soccer teams of homeless people.  I mean, aren’t there other, more concrete things they need beyond a recreational activity?  But soccer is more powerful than it may seem.  Just being on a team, having goals, getting to celebrate small successes is a new experience for many of the players, who are often lonely outcasts, estranged from family, battling addictions.  One player from Ireland was attempting to end a heroin addiction, and being on the soccer team in essence gave him a reason to keep living, a reason for his mother to finally be proud of him, a reason to get clean.  Another player from America had been abused and rejected by his family, and was dealing with lots of anger and abandonment issues, but being on a team was sort of his first experience in a functioning “family,” one that expected him to deal with his anger in more appropriate ways. Continue reading “kicking it, kicking homelessness”