Homeless World Cup
There are one billion homeless people living in our world today.
The Homeless World Cup is an annual, international football tournament, uniting teams of people who are homeless and excluded to take a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to represent their country and change their lives forever.
It has triggered and supports grass roots football projects in over 60 nations working with over 25,000 homeless and excluded people throughout the year.
The first tournament took place in 2003, and its popularity has continued to grow ever since. This year's tournament will take place in Milan between the 6?13 September.
Wales' entry for this tournament are The Welsh Dragons, a team organised by Street Football Wales who, in their own words: promote social inclusion through the use of sport and provide socially excluded people not only the opportunity to play football on a monthly basis but also to develop a multitude of life skills including discipline, timekeeping, commitment and teamwork.
Many keen footballers from South Wales tried out for the team, and as all players displayed such a high standard of play and positive behaviour, selecting the final eight was a difficult task for those judging. The final squad has been announced and this year's Welsh Dragons are:
Gareth Jones - Cardiff YMCA
Jason Moles - Huggy Bears Cardiff
Dean Hobbs - Huggy Bears Cardiff
Sean Williams - Gofal Rangers Swansea
John Sutton - Cyrenians Snipers Swansea
Arthur Roberts - Caer Las Bandits Swansea
Billy Blanks - Solas Dragons Newport
Chris Stockwell - Solas Dragons Newport
The two Support Workers chosen for Milan are:
Jan Collard - Big Issue Cymru
Paul Scarfi - Solas Dragons
More about the Homeless World Cup
Under the heading 'A Ball Can Change The World', the Homeless World Cup website explains the difference their efforts make in the real world:
The impact is consistently significant year on year with 73% of players changing their lives for the better by coming off drugs and alcohol, moving into jobs, education, homes, training, reuniting with families and even going on to become players and coaches for pro or semi-pro football teams.
The Homeless World Cup supporters include UEFA, Nike, UN, Manchester United, Real Madrid, Ambassador Eric Cantona and international footballers Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand.