Meet the team | Callum’s story

Team Scotland player Callum has only been a Street Soccer player since the turn of the year, but credits weekly sessions in Stenhousemuir as a large part of his own mental health journey.

Street Soccer’s newest session at Ochilview Stadium started in March with participants working towards an SCQF in ‘Delivering an event’. The course which focused around coaching and leading training sessions, in partnership with Stenhousemuir FC, was made permanent in May and now takes place every Friday at the stadium.

Callum is now going from strength to strength and is looking forward to a memorable experience as part of Team Scotland’s Homeless World Cup squad.

“I feel so lucky to have met so many brilliant so far and getting the chance to be part of the team, primarily at Stenhousemuir and now with the lads here at Team Scotland.

I started playing with Street Soccer in Stenhousemuir a few months ago. So I’m quite new to everything but my experience so far has been nothing but positive. I signed up for the SCQF and been part of the weekly session ever since. It’s been huge for me.”

Local to the session in Forth Valley, Callum was selected to be part of the squad, making him the network programme’s first ever Homeless World Cup player.

“What a privilege it is to have been selected. It’s an honour to represent your country at any level and I really want to do everyone proud out there. I aim to seize the moment and do my best.

I think once we’re over there, it’s a brilliant opportunity to learn more about other cultures and socialising with as many players as possible. The social aspect of Street Soccer is what’s helped my confidence and improved my mental health. To have the chance to do that on a grander scale will be an amazing experience.”

Callum joined the rest of the team in watching the Scotland National Team train at Lesser Hampden before their victorious double-header over Norway and Georgia. He believes that all the build-up has lifted the group to a new level and underlines how important the event will be for everyone going forward.

“It’s been amazing. It’s a great atmosphere among the group and it’s a wonderful experience to be part of. The build up to the tournament has been really enjoyable.

It’s a dream come true to be part of something like this. This tournament raises awareness of homelessness and challenges such as that, worldwide. I think that sort of thing shouldn’t go unnoticed.

I am almost expecting the unexpected, it’s an exciting time and all the boys are really looking forward to it.”

Despite his short experience as a Street Soccer player, Callum emphasises how crucial the sense of community has been for him as he strives to continue on his positive change journey.

“For anyone curious about Street Soccer, I’d urge them just to do it! It’s really helped me on my journey. Where I was last year, I struggled with my mental health and I feel like a new man. Street Soccer has been a big part of that. The sessions provides an opportunity to socialise, stay fit and gives you a platform to express yourself.”

You can learn more about our network programme and sessions like the one in Stenhousemuir, online.

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