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Street Soccer and the silver screen

28 Mar 2024

Street Soccer hosts premiere of Netflix movie The Beautiful Game based on the Homeless World Cup 


Soccer took its place on the silver screen as a new film was premiered at an event in the Queen’s Film Theatre. To mark the launch of a new movie, The Beautiful Game, which is based on the Homeless World cup, Street Soccer NI hosted a special screening for a select audience. The event was supported by Radius Housing as part of the Shared Housing Programme in partnership with Hosford Homeless Services.

160 fans of football and film packed the QFT for the showing including homeless service users from across Northern Ireland. The screening provided everyone in attendance with a flavour of the actual Homeless World Cup that takes place in a different host country each year and celebrates the importance of raising awareness of the issues facing homeless communities globally. The movie, which has been made by Netflix, stars Bill Nighy and Michael Ward and was inspired by true life stories of players from across the world taking part in the Homeless World Cup.

Street Soccer NI has taken part in the Homeless World Cup in previous years, travelling to California last year with eight of its players to compete and represent NI in the worldwide event. The experience is transformational, focusing on empowerment and inspiring those who take part to change their lives for the better. The team go through a rigorous selection process where they are coached and mentored intensively in the months leading up to the event. Street Soccer NI takes a person-centred approach to the service it delivers, placing the participant in control of the progress they make with the support of a wraparound support service. This offers additional support to reduce barriers to engagement for the players and addresses issues such as housing, employment, education, food poverty and provision of clothing.

Many of the men and women who have taken part representing Northern Ireland have previously managed to turn their lives around as a result of engaging in the weekly Street Soccer Programmes and the Homeless World Cup.  This tournament promotes messages of hope, self-determination and second chances. Street Soccer NI is extremely proud to be bringing its 2024 team to Seoul in South Korea in September this year, taking on some top teams in the world and hoping to come home with a trophy or two.

Justin McMinn, Founder and CEO of Street Soccer NI stated that ''It's not every day you get to show a movie in the cinema about the Homeless World Cup to our clients and supporters. What a fantastic opportunity to showcase this amazing project which has impacted so many people over the last 10 years. We've taken over 80 people across the world since our first World Cup in 2013 and if we get the support we need, 16 more lives will get to experience it this year.''

In attendance at the event was Sharon Traynor, Communities Officer from Radius Housing who has supported good relations Street Soccer Programmes through the Together Building United Communities (T:buc) & ‘Housing for All’ Shared Housing Programme.

Sharon said “Radius is thrilled to support Street Soccer in hosting the premier of ‘The Beautiful Game’ based on the Homeless World Cup, which is released by Netflix on 29th March for everyone to watch. It is a fantastic opportunity to showcase the essential and important work that goes on behind the scenes in supporting those that have or are experiencing homelessness and to remove barriers to engagement whilst improving lives.”

The premiere of The Beautiful Game was supported through the NI Executive’s Together:  Building a United Community Strategy, which reflects the Executive’s commitment to improving community relations and continuing the journey towards a more united and shared society.

The Global Crescent shared housing development is also supported by the Department for Communities and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive.  Almost £5m has been invested in the scheme’s development and associated five-year Good Relations Plan.

Radius Housing Association continues to work in partnership with the local Advisory Group stakeholders and with residents to develop the scheme’s Good Relations Plan. The Global Crescent Good Relations Plan includes ‘Bridging’ events which are delivered to the wider community to encourage a range of good relations outcomes which include Health and Wellbeing, Education and Training.