Kelowna Street Soccer is being represented at the Homeless World Cup

Kelowna asked to chip in and help one a member of the Kelowna Kodiaks Street Soccer players compete in Holland.

  • Sep. 4, 2015 6:00 p.m.

The Kelowna Kodiaks Street Soccer Program is excited to announce another player has been invited to play for Team Canada at the 2015 Homeless World Cup.

Harold will be travelling to Amsterdam, Holland from Sept.10 to Sept. 19 to participate in this life changing opportunity. He is the fifth Kodiak player to represent Canada in the annual HWC.

The Kelowna Kodiaks are a street soccer team comprised of local people experiencing homelessness, underprivileged persons and volunteers; they aim to improve the lives of those in need by providing an athletic outlet to their players. The program runs year round, and is a for anyone in need of a safe place to play, connect with the community, and have fun.The Kodiaks are one of many Street Soccer Canada teams, all who work towards joining Team Canada on the international platform with more than 70 other nations. Previous Kelowna Kodiaks have attended the HWC in Chile (2014), Mexico City (2012), and Paris (2011).

Harold joined The Kelowna Kodiaks at the start of 2014 after learning about the program from a volunteer at Inn from the Cold – Kelowna. He is a hardworking, positive player, no matter what life throws at him.Having struggled with homelessness, depression, and substance abuse, Harold has never given up – on and off the soccer pitch. He now has found permanent residence with support from the John Howard Society, and is working towards more goals in his life, including attending the HWC.

Harold’s opportunity to be part of Team Canada came after attending the Street Soccer Canada National Tournament in Hamilton, Ontario this summer. Keara O’Brien, a long-time volunteer, coached the Kodiaks through a very challenging, but successful tournament. Keara said “the entire Kodiaks squad played through some tough matches and represented Kelowna in the best possible way; through fair play and team spirit. Harold was able to catch the eye of Team Canada’s head coach early on. His play as well as his positive attitude on the pitch ensured he was an easy selection.”

Those who know Harold understand how hard he has worked and how far he has come to deserve this opportunity.The Kelowna Kodiaks, and their community partners, are looking forward to supporting Harold through his continued journey to the 2015 Homeless World Cup and beyond.

To help fund Harold’s trip, Inn from the Cold have started an Indiegogo campaign to offset the costs of travel, accommodation and equipment. So far, through the generous donations of the local community, they are almost halfway to their fundraising goal of $2,500.*

For more information about the Kelowna Kodiaks, Inn from the Cold – Kelowna, Street Soccer Canada, and the Homeless World Cup, please contact:

 

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