Over the summer, the Foundation hosted training sessions at the Manchester United Carrington Training Ground in association with the Homeless FA for players hoping to be picked for Team England in the Homeless World Cup. During the sessions the Foundation Education team delivered the FA affiliated Junior Football Leaders course and aspects of the Believe FC course which focuses on life skills and confidence building.
Other training centres were held at West Bromwich Albion, Arsenal and Everton and the four amalgamated at Carrington for the final session at which Team England was selected. Players were selected not only for their footballing ability but for their attitude and commitment to the training centres.
The success of the Manchester United sessions resulted in a member of the Foundation Education team, Philippa Harrison, being invited to accompany the England squad to Mexico to deliver onsite Believe FC training with the players to ensure that they got the most value from their time at the tournament.
During the 10 days in Mexico, players attended a variety of sessions looking at key areas of development and providing them with essential life skills. The sessions included: Communication, Perceptions, Inner Strength, Trust, Positive Affirmations, Goal Setting and Creative Thinking.
Foundation football coach, Ciaran Donnelly, was also invited to help train the men’s team in Mexico, drawing on the skills and experiences gained at Manchester United to support the England squad during the tournament.
Paul, a member of the England men’s team, commented about the training he received, “My confidence has built a lot, and my ability to interact with others is a lot better because of what I learnt in the Believe sessions.”
Female player Jodie added, “I learnt that I can make a difference to what people think of me; I felt listened to.”
The Homeless FA is England’s national homeless football charity, supporting all initiatives that use football as a means of improving the lives of homeless people in England.
The Homeless World Cup is an organisation that 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 73 national partners and celebrates its work by organising an annual football tournament that unites teams of homeless people from countries all around the globe.
At the 2012 Homeless World Cup the Team England men came 22nd out of 54 teams and the women finished in 9th place out of 13. The overall winners were Team Mexico women and Team Chile men.
For more information about the Homeless FA visit: www.homelessfa.org
To see more images from the training sessions and from Mexico please visit our Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/TiJlpk