The Community Street Soccer Program, known as Street Soccer, is a fun and exciting initiative of The Big Issue that uses the power of sport to change lives.
Our free weekly sessions give participants an opportunity to get active, make new friends and seek support in a fun and safe environment. We provide equipment, dedicated coaches and support staff in communities across Australia. During the two-hour sessions, players take part in training and a friendly match. There is no need to have any experience playing soccer, our program caters to all fitness levels and abilities. Support staff also work closely with participants, linking them with services that address their individual issues and needs.
Street Soccer creates social inclusion and personal change for participants by providing support and promoting participation, inclusiveness, commitment and team spirit. Through the program we engage participants aged 16 years and above, who in many cases have given up on traditional support systems and services. Street Soccer puts the person at the centre of the solution and provides them with the support and tools necessary to make positive changes to their lives.
Since launching in 2007, the Community Street Soccer Program has engaged more than 10,000 people. Over this period, many participants have reported positive changes in their lives.
A 2019 survey of Street Soccer players found the program was achieving many health outcomes for participants, such as:
- 99% reported improved physical fitness.
- 97% were motivated to improve or maintain their physical and mental health.
- 98% said there is always someone who they can get advice and support from.
- 98% said street soccer makes them feel good about themselves.
- 100% said they have a more positive outlook on life.
In addition to the direct impact on participants, Street Soccer is a cost-effective social change program that saves money to the Australian taxpayer.
In 2009, an independent study on the program’s economic impact found that participation in Street Soccer led to individual behaviour change and a reduction in high-risk activities. The study estimated every $1 invested in Street Soccer generated a saving of $4.30 to the Australian community. Based on the program’s operating costs, it estimated that Street Soccer saved society $7 million per year.
The Community Street Soccer Program runs in various locations across Australia. There is no need to have any experience playing soccer, our program caters to all fitness levels and abilities.
For a full list of locations and times, check out our Where We Play page.
“The Street Soccer players are just incredible. They’ve actually made the choice to take on this tremendous challenge to turn their lives around.”
Craig Foster, ex-Socceroo and Street Soccer Ambassador