The Erasmus+ funded European Street Football Festival took place in the city of Manchester, from November 13-17. This was the first of three European Street Football Festivals that form part of the Homeless World Cup Erasmus+ Programme.
The four-day event consisted on two days of workshops and a two-day tournament, where twelve teams from around Europe had a chance to meet and share in the experience.
Upon arrival, teams were treated to a tour of the National Football Museum in Manchester, where they learned about the history of the beautiful game through many interactive and fun displays.
Day 1 – St George’s Park
On the first day, participants took a trip to St George’s Park, the official training facilities for the English National Team for a group training session. All players joined in the mass session.
After the training session, all teams took part in a workshop on Self-Awareness which was facilitated by Street FA staff.
During the workshop, players had a chance to explore more in depth their strengths and how they fit within their own team. As an ice-breaker, teams were prompted to come up with their own chant, one that they would have to embrace throughout the entire festival, an initiative that was very well received and which created a festival full of battle-cries, chants and silly dances.
Day 2 – Carousel
The second day of activities was called the “Carousel” and involved four very different experiences:
1. Guerrilla Barbering and Hero Portraits, where players could get a new hairstyle if they wanted and have their professional picture taken.
2. Workshop on “Perspective,” which prompted participants to explore different points of view, also facilitated by Street FA staff.
3. A football training session on the pitch atop Hotel Football.
4. Tour of the Manchester United Stadium – a feat that had most participants very excited.
Day 3 – Tournament
Teams would play a total of six matches throughout the tournament, five of them on a round-robin format, which would decide the final matches. Day three saw every team playing three matches.
Day 4 – Tournament
The second and last day of the tournament saw all teams playing three matches, two matches would conclude Round One, which would determine the standings for the finals.
Team England took 1st place of the women’s tournament, while the men’s first place went to Team Portugal.
The Erasmus+ European Street Football Festival in Manchester was the last event of the year for the Homeless World Cup Erasmus+ Porgramme. The programme’s activities will resume in January 2017 with the second get-together of delegations, this time hosted in Helsinki.
All of these events are part of a three-year programme aimed at promoting cooperation and knowledge sharing among Homeless World Cup National Partners across Europe. The next Erasmus+ European Street Football Festival will take place in Sofia, Bulgaria, in May 2017.