Football Queensland (FQ) and Brisbane Roar’s Daniel Bowles and Joe Caletti were in attendance at The Big Issue’s Community Street Soccer Program session last week, held at New Farm Park on Wednesday, 13 February.
The Street Soccer Program, supported by FQ, promotes social inclusion and personal change, with weekly sessions held in locations around Australia so participants can get fit, make new friends and seek support and advice from support staff to make positive changes to their lives.
Bowles and Caletti were on hand to participate in the New Farm Park session, as well as answer questions from the group who were in attendance.
Bobby Gordon, who has been running the program in Brisbane for 13 years, said he sees a dramatic change in the confidence of participants in the program who come from various different backgrounds.
“It’s a social thing, it’s not just about football, but it brings people together and helps them socialise,” Gordon said.
“The confidence that the participants gain from the program is a big thing; it can take a week, two weeks, it can take sometimes six months then all of a sudden they start speaking and socialising more.
“They just grow, and for me anyway it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen. It’s the best medicine.”
Gordon said not only does the program benefit those who participate, but it also has a positive impact on his own life.
“It makes me feel very, very lucky to be doing this work,” Gordon said.
“I’ve seen a lot in my life, but I’ve actually seen nothing.
“Someone told me recently that this program saved his life, so it’s powerful stuff.”
The Big Issue’s Street Soccer Program is held at New Farm Park every Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm.
For more information on the program, visit their website.