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Make seeing this a goal

March 03 2010
"A ball can change your life"

The 2008 film Kicking It, premiered at the Glasgow Film Festival in February. Its slogan: "A ball can change your life." The documentary focuses on seven homeless people at the Homeless World Cup football tournament in 2006, in Cape Town, South Africa.

Five hundred homeless players were selected to represent 48 nations, at the 4th annual games, played at the foot of the magnificent Table Mountain. The seven stars come from a wide range of backgrounds, including Afghanistan; Kenya; Ireland; Madrid; Spain; Russia, and USA.

Each player has ambitions for success through football, but each defines it differently. Just one team will lift the trophy, but the process leads the players to overcome other obstacles in their lives. Around 70 per cent of competing players go on to improve their living, working, or social conditions after the World Cup: proof of the power of the beautiful game.

Kicking It is unlike any other film about football. The game brought people together, and the match action is exhilarating and full of natural suspense. However, the real glory of the film is in its seven inspirational characters. The players don't just believe in themselves, they give tremendous encouragement to their teammates and show compassion and friendship to the opposition. In contrast to the world of elite football, the participants in the Homeless World Cup demonstrate real triumph over adversity.

"Kicking It is a great source of inspiration. You can see what a global event the Homeless World Cup is," says David Duke, Manager of Scotland's Homeless World Cup team, which won the trophy in 2007. David heads Street Soccer Scotland, and organises regular football sessions for homeless people in the Glasgow and Edinburgh areas. If you would like to get involved, details are on the website:, or call 0131 652 8190.

• Watch the trailer at

The Pavement would like to thank the Glasgow Film Festival.