Hong Kong Christian Service

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Issue 001
May 2014

World Cup Fever
Forming soccer team prevents relapses in drug rehabilitation

The big day for soccer fans is drawing near, the World Cup in June in the Country of Soccer – Brazil, have you ever thought of another meaningful element of soccer for the less advantaged and drug dependant persons apart from gluing your eyes to the international matches? They can also play football to the World Cup, and through football, find their value and even getting rid of relapses.

The LRS football team is our Jockey Club Lodge of Rising Sun football team, it comprises of present residents and some of those who have left the centre. Since its formation in 2008, in a few consecutive years, its members have all been selected to the Homeless World Cup to represent Hong Kong in the semi-finals in the host country. Last year, their participation in the first futsal street soccer game won the second runners-up, and one of the team members was awarded The Top Scorer.

Mutual support among team members Re-building the social network

Playing football to our residents goes beyond being a kind of sports, it connects them with one another. Mr Leung Chun Bong, the social worker who is responsible for the football team said, “the greatest enemy to drug dependant persons is relapse, after they are discharged, if they cannot re-build their social network, they easily fell back into the vicious cycle of taking drugs again, somehow the team work spirit in football help them to build their supportive relationship; at the same time, for those who become weak because of taking drugs, it might as well build up their physique through physical exercises.

The residents have marked improvements after playing football. “They become less self-centered, they are able to grasp the discipline in a team, as they have more interaction with people, they are able to cooperate and encourage one another. For those who left the centre but come back because of the football team, it provides us the opportunity to get to know how they are getting on which greatly reduce their chances of relapse.”

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