A pretty unbelievable season for us here at The Connection at St Martin’s (CSTM) football team.
We run training sessions with homeless clients every Friday (numbers and weather permitting) and our regulars rarely miss a session.
Pete Mason who is our resident football coach and font of knowledge for all things sporting and a UEFA B Licence coach to boot!
Pete has been running The Connection football sessions for over 15 Years!! Yes really! And he still has the same desire and fire for the sport as he ever had.
We belong to a league at Coram Fields near Russell Square which runs all season and has around 20 to 26 teams in two leagues.
Our boys not only won promotion last season (after a few years in the bottom league) but went on to win this year’s top league!!
Take for instance Dixon. One of our success stories, He and his brother Moses (another footy regular) are from Uganda and have not only found steady jobs but are now funding a league back in their home country.
Dixon found out from us about our workspace team who help clients back into work. Dixon landed a work placement through our Workspace team with John Lewis and did so well they offered him a full time job! I pop in and see him at their flagship store on Oxford Street. Dixon and his brother Moses are true hard working lads who also absolutely love football.
Dixon had previously worked as a welder and one employer decided not to pay him after he worked there for a month. His good nature and hard working ethic was abused by an unscrupulous employer. Through the football training we got to learn about his situation and were able to give advice, support and help him towards a proper job with a reliable employer!
Even while some of our clients are still homeless they try to make training and matches to support our team. We often play in the league with no substitutes as it’s all about who turns up on the day.
Clients do change in attitude away from the day centre and a lot of opening up happens. Information that may not be disclosed within the Connection Day Centre can come out over a training session or football match.
Our ethic is – Life is like sport. The more you put in, the more you get out and the harder you work the luckier you get!!
Oh yes Mr Freud. We know a thing or two about mind and body!
Long may it continue.
Chris and Pete