Street soccer brings hope for Denmark's homeless – University of Copenhagen

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17 December 2014

Street soccer brings hope for Denmark's homeless

Street Soccer

The Danish street football organisation Ombold is using sport to help the homeless dream of a brighter future. FIFA TV visited Copenhagen and made a Video of the Week that highlights the important work being done in the project.

Players from the 'Ombold' project for homeless during training. Photo: Lene Knudtzen’s recent Video of the Week is not about Christiano Ronaldo or about the FIFA World Cup™ draw for the Women’s World Cup 2015 in Canada. No, it is about football for homeless and socially disadvantaged people.

Thomas Hye-Knudsen launched the project in 2003 and it has generated considerable success over the past 11 years. The scheme is financed by private donations and state subsidies. With Ombold's help, countless homeless people have been able to reintegrate into society, get back to regular work and leave alcohol and drugs behind them.

12 weeks of football training resulted in marked health improvements

Professor Peter Krustrup and other researchers from Copenhagen Centre for Team Sport and Health have shown that just 12 weeks of street football training for homeless people result in marked improvements in muscle mass, bone mineralization, postural balance and aerobic fitness along with decreases in fat mass and cholesterol, altogether reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease by about 50% and minimizing the risk of falls and bone fractures.   

Experience the players live at the City Hall Square

At WCSF2015 it will be possible to see the Ombold players in action playing street soccer at the Copenhagen City Hall Square and recent scientific results about football for hard-to-reach populations will be presented.