The Homeless World Cup is currently taking place. This is a wonderful event that brings together teams from around the world to compete for a championship but also serve as a “summit” of sorts consisting of men and women who are homeless but are working hard to change their lot. Soccer is a significant part of those efforts. The sport, as they say themselves, gives them purpose, a sense of community, and rediscovered confidence in their abilities.
Another example of sport, again soccer, directly impacting those who may have been previously overlooked when it came to their “right to play” involves blind women and men. In August, we posted a link to a video featuring a 5-a-side league in Germany. We head back there to feature a story we first saw at sportanddev.org that includes video of an exhibition between teams from Germany and Turkey.
The match was organized by the National Paralympic Committee, the Sepp Herberger Foundation, and the Association for Blind and Visually Impaired Persons.
To enjoy the benefits of sport, there must be access to sport. Restrictions based on physical differences/disabilities, race, gender, nationality, etc. is antithetical to the inherent nature of sport. We play to have fun, to enjoy life, to meet others, and to fulfill our potential as members of the human race. No one should ever be denied opportunity to experience all of those things. While such denial does take place, as the videos above show, there is evidence that change is afoot.