Whitecaps alumni face Dream Catchers

Vancouver Whitecaps FC are seeking your support for the upcoming Vancouver Dream Catchers Charity Match, which takes place this Friday at 1pm at the Empire Bowl - next to the PNE. The match will feature members of the Vancouver Dream Catchers showing their stuff against a celebrity team that will include Whitecaps alumni, Vancouver media personalities, and other Vancouver athletes. The Vancouver Dream Catchers are part of Street Soccer Canada – a national organization committed to using sport to empower and embrace the homeless. This September, the Vancouver Dream Catchers will travel to Calgary, Alberta, where Street Soccer Canada will host a national qualifier to select the players that will make up Canada’s team for the Homeless World Cup. The 2008 Homeless World Cup takes place in December in Melbourne, Australia, and the Vancouver Dream Catchers want to be there to represent their country. The purpose of the charity match is to raise awareness of Street Soccer Canada, as well as to raise funds to help the Vancouver Dream Catchers travel to Calgary to participate in the nationals, and hopefully carry on to Melbourne. ABOUT THE HOMELESS WORLD CUP The Homeless World Cup is an annual, international four-on-four soccer 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 soccer projects in over 60 nations and works with over 25,000 homeless and excluded people throughout the year. The first tournament took place in Graz in 2003, uniting 17 national teams. At the fifth Homeless World Cup in Copenhagen, Denmark, 48 nations and 500 players were united for a once in a lifetime opportunity to represent their country. Melbourne is the host city for the next tournament, which takes place from December 1 to 7, 2008. The year over year impact is consistently significant, with 73 per cent 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 soccer teams. The Homeless World Cup supporters include UEFA, Nike, United Nations, Manchester United, Real Madrid, ambassador Eric Cantona, and international footballers Didier Drogba and Rio Ferdinand. CLICK HERE to watch a video on the Homeless World Cup, narrated by Colin Farrell. ABOUT STREET SOCCER CANADA Street Soccer Canada is a national grassroots organization committed to using sport to empower and embrace the homeless. Street Soccer Canada leagues are active in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver. Each year in a national qualifying tournament, Street Soccer Canada selects players from across the country to represent Canada in international competition at the annual Homeless World Cup. This year’s national qualifying tournament is in Calgary in September. ABOUT THE VANCOUVER DREAM CATCHERS The Vancouver Dream Catchers was founded in 2007, and includes male and female players aged 16 and over. The team has more than 30 registrants, and 18 fulltime players. All players must have been homeless in the past two years, and must be participating in a rehabilitation program. The Vancouver Dream Catchers are devoted to building self-esteem, improving health, and developing skills. They are dedicated to social inclusion, which is one of the most powerful ways of addressing homelessness. Their goal is to raise awareness of sport as a powerful tool against homelessness; to support team members in all aspects of life; and to expand and grow as a community organization. The team is sponsored by Street Soccer Canada and the Helping Spirit Lodge Society. CLICK HERE for more information on the Vancouver Dream Catchers.