Graz 2018 European Street Football Festival

The 2018 European Street Football Festival took place from July 2-7, in beautiful Graz. The Austrina city welcomed 14 teams representing 11 countries from across Europe for the four-day festival of football, where participants had a chance to enjoy skills building workshops and bonding activities, as well as take part in an international football festival.

Teams representing Austria, England, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Germany, Bulgaria, Greece, Belgium, Wales, Finland and Sweden arrived in Graz on July second where they were given the chance to relax and network.

The next day, participants were treated to a day’s hike in Schöckl Mountain, where day took part in various games and workshops. Activities included food tasting, jewlery crafting, and obstacle racing, among others.

Team Sweden making bracelets.

The rest of the workshops delivered throughout the event included “Education Outside the Classroom Methodology” with a focus on social inclussion through sport, delivered by Jordan Stephenson from Coaches Across Continents (CAC). Mental coach and personal coach Beatrix Arlitzer delivered a “New Competencies Acknowledgement” workshop, aimed at helping participants recognise and celebrate new-learned skills and how to implement them in their personal life after the event.

Team Greece ready to take on the mountain.

On Wednesday, July 4, all participants joined the opening parade followed the inaugural game of the Graz 2018 ESFF. The tournament saw five teams competing for the men’s trophy, and seven for the women’s over the course of three days.

Teams parade on the pitch before the inaugural game at the Graz 2018 ESFF.

Austrian and English squads celebrate after their game.

The tournament, which took place over the course of three days saw Team Austria take the trophy in the men’s competition, and Wales for the women’s.

Austrian squad celebrating their victory after the final whistle of the men’s final.

Team Wales celebrate after winning the women’s final of the Graz 2018 ESFF.

The Graz 2018 European Street Football Festival was co-funded by the European Union and delivered by Caritas in coordination with Homeless World Cup Foundation. It was the closing event of the Homeless World Cup Erasmus + Project which had begun in 2016. The three-year project aimed at strengthening collaboration between 22 European Street Football Partnerships saw knowledge sharing exchanges and get-togethers as well as three European Street Football Tournaments.