We’re just months away from one of the most anticipated tournaments in sport – the World Cup in Brazil.
But while everyone pays attention to the build up to what is regularly labelled as the ‘biggest sporting event in the World,’ there has been a significantly more important World Cup going on in Brazil – The Street Child World Cup.
The Street Child World Cup tournament not only provides children with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play football with people from all over the world, it is an important platform that draws the world’s attention to the struggles of street children.
In 2013, BT Sport’s charitable initiative, The Supporters Club, gave substantial grants to aid three charities to send teams to take part in the Street Child World Cup.
Team Brazil Girls, Tanzania Boys and India Boys each received a two-year investment in their sports programmes which support local street children. Tanzania Boys and Brazil Girls both won the Street Child World Cup in early April.Team Brazil (girls) come from the IBISS charity who work in the toughest 60 slum communities in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).
Team Tanzania have been recruited by the Caretakers of the Environment charity based in Mwanza, who provide emergency support, on-going rehabilitation and education to Mwanza’s street children. Team India have been brought together by Karunalaya, a charity that works on the streets of Chennai supporting hundreds of children living around the railway station and seven slum areas.
Brazil girls and Tanzania boys won their respective tournaments, while the other supported team, India, were unfortunate not to progress from their group.
To see just how much of an impact this event and The Supporters Club can make on street children around the world, BT Sport are filming a one-hour documentary that follows the three teams on their journey through the tournament. The doc will be presented by former Arsenal defender Gilberto Silva and will premier on 5 May on BT Sport 1 at 8pm.