Source: Act Global
The event harnesses the power of sport to inspire personal change in homeless individuals
Glasgow’s famous George Square was transformed into a street soccer venue for the 14th annual event, with three artificial turf pitches, seating for 3,500 spectators, music and more. Thousands of spectators turned out each day from July 10 to 16, while more than 3 million people streamed the matches online.
“It is a privilege to be a Homeless World Cup sponsor, and witness the impact the organization has on players and communities around the world,” said Chris Clapham, co-owner of Act Global, who attended the games in Glasgow this month. “The event demonstrates the positive influence of sports and its ability to change lives. Through sports, we can improve not only physical health, but confidence, communication, dedication, responsibility and self-esteem, too.”
As players take the pitch for their respective countries, there is much more at stake than just winning a game. Often players are breaking down barriers—from socially excluded backgrounds, long-term mental health issues, family breakdowns, addictions and homelessness—to get to where they are today. When a homeless person gets involved in sports, they build relationships, become teammates, have a responsibility, and feel that they are part of something larger than themselves.
Clapham said that supporting the cause aligns with the company’s mission to positively impact social change. Act Global also supports outreach efforts such as CARE, sponsoring mission trips and World Vision Micro Loans.
“Being able to help people and bring about change are the most rewarding parts of our work,” said Clapham.
An estimated 100 million people are homeless worldwide, and as many as 1 billion lack access to suitable housing. Of past Homeless World Cup participants, 94 percent have said that the event positively impacted their life, and 83 percent improved relationships with families and friends.
“The sense of empowerment that comes from participating in street football can help individuals envision change in their lives,” said Mel Young, co-founder and president of the Homeless World Cup. “To have these brand new playing surfaces has meant so much to the Homeless World Cup and to the players.”
The turf system selected, called Xtreme Turf, features a highly durable yarn pile and a curled thatch layer from Bonar Yarns, which remains upright and resilient without infill applied. It is ideal for event use, as it offers a durable, consistent, all-weather surface, with little maintenance required. The system was expertly installed by Malcolm Construction over a Sekisui Alveosport pad, to offer excellent shock absorption and uniform performance throughout the tournament.
The games wrapped up July 16 with Mexico Men and Women crowned champions for the second successive year.
About Act Global
Act Global is a world leader in synthetic turf technology, with manufacturing facilities on three continents and sales in more than 70 countries. The company carries a full range of products for sports (Xtreme Turf and Xtreme Grass), landscaping (Xtreme Lawn), aviation (AvTurf) and land reclamation (LiteEarth). Act Global is a FIFA Preferred Producer for Football Turf, Synthetic Turf Council Certified Manufacturer, World Rugby Preferred Turf Producer, FIH Preferred Supplier, and holds ISO 9001 Certification. Its products have undergone hundreds of independent laboratory tests for quality, durability, safety, environmental soundness and performance. For more information, visit http://www.actglobal.com