A documentary about the UEFA-backed Homeless World Cup, an international football tournament which changes lives, has enjoyed resounding success at its world premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Kicking It, directed by Susan Koch and produced by Ted Leonsis, is an intimate look at homeless athletes who find a greater goal on the football field as they journey with 48 nations to the Cape Town 2006 Homeless World Cup. The film chronicles the lives of seven players taking a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent their country while overcoming poverty and addiction. The players come from war-torn Afghanistan, the slums Mathare and Huruma in Kenya, the drug rehabiltation clinics of Dublin, the streets of North Carolina, the public shelters of Madrid and the rural immigrants' culture in St. Petersburg.
It has also been announced that Kicking It will be broadcast by ESPN to more than 90 million homes around the world. ESPN is planning an online, on-air and charitable awareness campaign to the film, which is narrated by the actor Colin Farrell. The Homeless World Cup, based in Scotland, was founded by one of the world's leading social entrepreneurs, Mel Young, also co-founder of The Big Issue Scotland, International Network of Street Papers and New Consumer magazine. The Copenhagen 2007 Homeless World Cup united 48 nations this summer.
UEFA has backed the Homeless World Cup for several years as part of its social programme. By adopting a flexible and clear social responsibility policy, European football's governing body is supporting the belief that football should be used as a force for broader benefit within society, using its potential to influence attitudes and behaviour beyond the confines of the stadium.
Football fosters inclusion
Since 1999, UEFA has been reinvesting fines imposed in UEFA competitions for specific purposes such as humanitarian aid, social and educational projects. The Homeless World Cup receives UEFA support because it has a strong link with football, has a set of clearly defined goals and successfully develops the use of football as a tool for fostering inclusion.
Click here for the Homeless World Cup website
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