The 2016 ReUnion Cup took place early in September and everyone had a great day. 24 of the 50 former Homeless World Cup players attended and we had a six team football tournament which was won by the players who represented Cambodia at the 2015 Homeless World Cup in Amsterdam. All the players said how happy they were to see old friends and reminisce about old times. It was fantastic to hear how many of the players have progressed in their lives with several former Homeless World Cup players married and several planning to get married soon! Many players brought their wives and girlfriends to support them. One former Homeless World Cup player Huon Neasa who attended the event in Poland in 2013 recently graduated as a lawyer. With the support of our partner Cambodian Children Fund he has turned his life around and we are all so proud of him.
Game on as Neasa controls the ball in final of ReUnion Cup.
We were lucky to have some supporters from the UK come along on the day and help out. Stewart and Sue Easton volunteered and helped ensured the ReUnion Cup went smoothly. Stewart managed the scoreboard and Sue assisted HFCA staff member Isabella to set up a new facebook page for all the players who showed up so we can improve our communications with former players and ensure they can contact us if they need support.
Goalkeeper Sang gets ready for shot from Kimhong.
Once the Homeless World Cup is over players lives don't just automatically improve and we know from experience that long term support is needed for some players who still struggle in their daily lives. Sadly three former Homeless World Cup players are currently in prison and we spoke to everyone at the ReUnion Cup about the dangers of getting involved in drugs be it dealing or personal use as well as other illegal activities. All three former players are serving sentences of two years plus. HFCA is looking into ways we can support these players and their families whilst they are in prison and once they leave. The ReUnion Cup is important because it gives HFCA a platform to maintain contact with program participants and its gives our players a support network which they can access any time they need help.
Check out all the pictures from the day by clicking here