The Olympic spirit was alive and kicking at Wavertree Leisure Centre for the Homeless Games.
Over 450 people competed and teams entered from across Merseyside and as far away as Morecambe, Doncaster, Southampton, Birmingham, and Cumbria. The two day festival of sport covered a number of sports including football, swimming, athletics, basketball, table tennis, chess and pool.
There were a range of other activities such as zumba for those who just wanted to have fun.
The Homeless Games organisers also arranged health and well-being stalls, with the support of Crisis providing information on cancer awareness, substance and alcohol misuse, sexual health, healthy eating and dental advice.
The Games are supported by a range of agencies including Men’s Accommodation and Support, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire Service, the Region’s local authorities, Liverpool PCT, local registered housing providers, the Lighthouse Project, and ASDA
Medals were presented to the successful competitors by Councillor Ann O’Byrne, Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, and Colonel Martin Amlot, the High Sheriff of Merseyside.
Councillor O’Byrne said “This is the second year I have been given the privilege of presenting medals and it has been an absolute pleasure. The boost to self esteem that people get from participating in sport in this way is tangible”.
The Games were a huge success giving participants a sense of achievement. People are given the opportunity to participate in a sport suitable to their needs. The Games have shown that sport is effective in engaging homeless people giving them dignity and confidence.
Other activities such as ladies’ days and photography and cinematography courses are organised throughout the year.
The success of the Homeless Games was recently recognised by Homeless Link a national organisation that campaigns for the homeless.
Eric Houghton founder and chairman, from the Homeless Games organising committee who has been instrumental from the inception of the Games said “These have been the best Games yet. I would like to thank all the organisations who supported us by providing funding and time commitments. Congratulations to all those who competed and participated”