London, Edinburgh and then Rio…..

Well this entry is completely dedicated to the mammoth task of fund-raising for the Homeless World Cup, least of all because that’s where this whole concept and idea began(see previous blogs) .

After i came back form Milan 2009 i was inspired and plans began to form then knowing i wanted to get to Brazil 2010 and help out such a great cause and event.

So 8 cities in 8 days and a walk in each city/town on route, London, Leicester, Luton, Nottingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and then Edinburgh.

I met some great people and was able to take one of the participants with me (Darren Lavin) he grew in stature on route and was able to explain to people why football has helped him so much, we also stopped in at a salvation army hostel and took on another passenger from there (Mark Morgan).

Englands No 1

In Luton we met one of the guys who eventually made the England Team in Rio ( Dwayne Nathan Williams)

Through many ups and downs we made it to the Homeless World Cup HQ in Edinburgh and were welcomed on the  Hibernian’s Pitch.

The End of the Road to Rio

Here we are with the England Flag signed by all the well wishers along the way and we also had a Scottish Flag we presented to the Scottish Team manager (David Duke) Check out Street Soccer Scotland on facebook.

Well the journey was completed and when the dust was settled we had raised enough money to pay for a player to represent his country and it meant i could be there as a volunteer again!!!

September 2010 i was now ready to set off for Rio, a time for reflection and looking back on the achievements of the last year.

So much has been accomplished in such a short period of time, needless to say none of this is achieved without so many people and the help of a partner who is a football widow in every sense and so supportive.

So many good people who continue to inspire me from all around the world and just around the corner from Stephen Barton in Liverpool to Kelly Brown in Oxford, from Andy Hook in Edinburgh to Lee Robinson in Australia , these and many more, too many to mention here…..

Without these people and thousands like them who care about the disadvantaged in our world, well we would all be worse off that’s for sure.

Rio was amazing and surpassed all my expectations and met some old friends and made some new ones, had a few tears and loads of smiles, from the Haiti Ladies to the New Zealand Men all had a story to tell and came and went with a new attitude.

Here for those who haven’t heard about it before is a sample of the game voted the best from the 2010 (apologies for the commentary in German)

And finally a picture of yours truly and a few memories from Rio 2010 and looking forward to Paris 2011

Jon Regler (Still  Chairman)

April…….. And then there was 12!!!

April Blog

And then there were 12….

Well we had an idea, but still needed to put meat on the bones as they say, i got in touch with George Parolalista and the George Alexander Group, a day spent in Brighton was very productive and George definitely put me straight on what was needed,the plan was formed and the transition form idea to reality was formed.
The next part of the journey began on 8th april 2010 ,when a meeting was arranged to see who was interested in talking about starting this organisation as we now know as ‘Streets revolution’, despite the fact that it wasn’t held in the pub, we had 12 people and myself turn up and out of those 7 were homeless guys from various shelters and hostels, now that was a shock, even more shocking was the fact that project workers, and staff also turned up as well as John Armstrong( Oxford Utd) and Owain Prosser ( Oxfordshire FA) county development officer, which meant that we had a good strong mix of football people, workers and most importantly involvement and input from those that matter.

The relief on my face was clear and lots of talking got under way, by the end of the meeting we had a chairman,treasurer and 2 secretaries and others ready to start a drop in football session in 5 days(yes we were counting our chickens), but we like to call it a leap of faith (note to self about hope and positivity).

So they we are formed and raring to go, the pitch was booked thanks to John and Jon, i know its confusing, made easier by the lack of a moustache on one.

The following takes place between 4pm and 5pm…..

Tuesday April 13th- now looking back this was obviously not a date you want to start to conquer the world, but we were blindly ignorant of the fact and so gung-ho it didn’t matter.

The coach (Andy Bone) was booked and footballs and bibs, cones and all that one needs to play football were all ready except one important thing …………players?
Would anyone show up we had spent hours on the phone and putting up flyers and posters, but well by definition you can never be sure that’s the pro’s and con’s of running a drop in, you don’t have to attend.

3.55 still no one Justin Andrewes was there and so was Andy Bone the coach…..
4.00 one friendly face appears in the distance
4.05 3 more and now we almost have a 5 side team
4.10 3 more and a fellow with a dog(we better not count him)
4.15 and one more arrives so now we have 8

Not bad a few turn up late and we have a great session all took part and gave it there best put through there paces by Andy, clearly not used to the drills, but loads of smiles and lads coming together to play football.

All in all a very good start and this was clearly going to work if they all come back.

In the Beginning ……

The true revolutionary is guided by love. It is impossible to think of a true revolutionary lacking this” – Che Guevara.

I can’t think of anywhere else to start but the beginning…….

I’m writing a blog as that seems to be the done thing these days since carrier pigeons went out of fashion. As we are already on Facebook and Twitter we thought we would do a blog to get a hat trick (many more football related puns to come). Let me introduce you to Jon Regler (that me!!), the founder of our organisation (the dude in the picture with the moustache)

It all started with a passion for football and a desire to make a difference both of which I have. I attended the Homeless World Cup in Milan in 2009 and worked there as a volunteer. I returned with inspiration thinking as the Homeless World Cup has said “a ball can change the world” So why can’t a ball change Oxford?

Already a football coach, I searched for a local homelessness project that i could get involved with. I was lucky to find Lucy Faithful House ( a supported housing project for homeless people provided by Two Saints) and began to assist them in coaching a football session once a week. During that time a couple of questions kept popping up from the players. “Why can’t we play more football?” and “what can we do the rest of the time after the football has finished?”

I began to dream that maybe he could start an organisation that would answer these questions.

Fed up with calling it ‘I have a dream’ or ‘that thing I want to do with football and adults that are marginalised in the county blah blah blah…..’ we had to think of a name. So at 2 am in the morning (when all great ideas come about) Becca and I (that’s me the “blogger”) came up with a few suggestions. Here are some of those that in a Britain’s Got Talent sort of manner got the red buzzer treatment…….. Balls to Homelessness (too rude)…..The Big Issue (already taken)…Bend it like a beggar (so politically incorrect which rather defeats the object)….. as you can tell we didn’t work well at 2am in the morning and our waste paper bin was very full. We learnt from our naming session that was reminiscent of Gynneth Paltrow like (who names their child after an apple anyway!) and started thinking again the next morning. We liked Streets United it combined both football and homelessness brilliant! until you type it into google and realise that every Tom, Dick and Harry thought of that way before us. So after a couple of weeks of running around telling everyone its Streets United it dawned on us we are trying to inspire change so whats the biggest kind of change there is …… a revolution. This brought us to the word “revolution” (from the Latin revolutio, “a turn around”) defined as “to bring about a change”.

So now we had a name time to focus our attention on starting the organisation and so the story continues….