Homeless World Cup Soccer Team

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Tiffany and Tom Maxwell, two Big White employees have been training a local homeless street soccer team in Kelowna.  Two of their team members are on Team Canada for the homeless World Cup Soccer tournament.  Here's the first blog entry from their adventure!

 

Technology is great these days, cruising in the skies on Air Canada and I'm able to plug my netbook in and write this blog, just wish they had internet. We are on route to Montreal Airport to catch our connecting flight to Paris, France. We really hope we can enjoy a "delicious" french poutine while waiting for the flight.

Tom and I have been on the go for the past year getting our Kelowna Kodiaks Homeless Street Soccer team in action and focused on making Team Canada. We have had our ups and downs with tears and struggles. Back in June we went to Vancouver on a team trip where our players had a chance to be chosen to represent Canada at the upcoming Homeless World Cup in Paris,France. One of the biggest things we had to consider when referring our players was if the players we wanted to go had a criminal record. If so then they probably would not be able to get a passport and leave Canada. Our player who we were striving hard to get to Paris, told us he had no criminal record. A month in a half before we were to leave he tells us he has a court date and probably will not be able to go to Paris. He was not motivated to try and make Paris happen, it's like he just gave up. This really upset us because we have put in our heart and soul to make his life better and to give him this amazing opportunity and all he could say was "it's not gonna happen".

I have been raised to go after my dreams and do what has to be done; therefore, it was hard for me to watch him just mope around and not even try to get off his court date or even just respect for us to at least go to the courts and get the paperwork that was needed. I'm very thankful that my lovely husband Tom has the patience and understanding that was needed for us to get our player to Paris.

Tom took a day off to go to the courts to get the paperwork we needed, in that same day went into the passport office and filed a passport for our player. It was not easy as the passport official gave us a hard time and didn't understand how our player could not have more than a birth certificate as I.D. Tom had to frantically explain the situation as it's not your typical situation; in fact our player had exactly the minimum requirements to get a passport. They do not make it easy to get i.d, let alone for people that have no roots or social existence.We waited anxiously for 10 days until we saw our player with a big smile on his face as he was holding his very FIRST ever passport. That was with tons of relief and a feeling of reward for not only our player but for us.I hope our player has learned that you can't give up and if you work hard good things will happen.

The next hurdle was the court date, Tom had to take off another day of work to go down to the court date with our player; only to realize it was only a hearing to decide a date for his next court date. Tom didn't really have to be there but it helped and he was able to leave the country for the very first time. Team Canada is safe and sound in Paris and preparing for their first match on Sunday. We will find out on Saturday what teams they are playing so we will fill you in on our blogs so you all can watch some games live at www.homelessworldcup.org.  Tom and I are hoping they do not play Australia, we won't know who to cheer for :) we have brought both jerseys with us anyways and you may catch us wearing the green and yellow at some point. We are so excited to be off to Europe for this life changing event and so lucky to be able to celebrate our honeymoon(after 6 months of waiting). It is my first time in Europe and I'm so excited that I can finally use my second language(french) in the most romantic city :) Until Paris, a plus tard! xoxoxo

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