A team of SPL Legends and media pundits lifted the GAP Challenge Cup after beating Scotland’s Homeless World Cup winners, to raise awareness of the recently formed GLASGOW ABSTINENCE PROVISION, a partnership between the Second Chance Project and Turning Point Scotland.

Despite the winter weather and lashing rain, the players enthusiastically took to the field at Hamilton Academical’s New Douglas Park on Sunday 11th December to highlight issues of alcohol and substance misuse in Glasgow.

The match was played at a great tempo with some great individual performances with, with Sunday Mail and Clyde1 Superscoreboard pundit Mark Guidi making a string of fine saves in the GAP legends goal. The Scottish Rockettes and Hamilton under 8 youth teams provided half time entertainment.

The GAP legends, playing in Hamilton Accies’ colours, ran out 3-1 winners in a closely contested match with Sky Sports reporter Peter Martin showing everyone up with two fine strikes that would have graced any level of football, but Sean Lawrence got the Man of the Match award for his performance for Scotland’s Homeless World Cup squad.

Presenting the trophy at the end was Walter Hamilton from Hamilton Academical FC, Billy Purcell from the Second Chance Project, and Ian Irvine from Turning Point Scotland.

Alex Rae captained a team of ex-pros and media pundits including the likes of Gordon Durie, Tom Boyd, Bob Malcolm, Peter Martin, Chic Young, Andy Mclaren and Mark Guidi. Former Rangers midfielder Rae said:

“It was really good, great fun, well competed by everyone and a really good afternoon. Most of our boys’ legs are knackered now, there was a lot of bright boys for them and thankfully our goalkeeper saved the day for us.

The GAP partnership is close to our heart, ties in well with homelessness and the problems of addiction around that, it was a very worthwhile afternoon, and very pertinent at this time of year.

I think all the boys enjoyed it and it was played in the right spirit which is very pleasing.”

The former Ibrox star is chair of the trustees of the Second Chance Project in Glasgow and is hoping his profile and experience with football can help raise awareness to those in need to get help facing the challenges of addiction, and hopefully  find their own way on the road to recovery.

Another former Ibrox favourite Ally Dawson, who managed Hamilton Accies, now coaches the Scotland Homeless World Cup winners. He said all the players had a great time:

“It was a great afternoon, unfortunately the weather wasn’t very good but all the guys enjoyed it. A lot of them aren’t used to playing 11 a side, especially some of those guys, they keep the ball, which makes it a lot, lot harder for us to get on it, but it was good, really enjoyed the day and it was great seeing some old friends.

This is close to my heart and close to Alex’s heart so a lot of the things we’re going to be doing in the future are to see how we can take it forward.”

As many people who are homeless have issues with alcohol and drug misuse, bringing together Scotland’s Homeless World Cup winners and the GAP legends through football gave them a chance to have a bit of friendly competition and share experiences through their passion and love of the game.

The match was enjoyed by players and spectators alike and shows just how much talent, commitment and energy lies in our communities when they are given a chance to show it off.

The Second Chance Project and Turning Point Scotland’s South East Alternatives and the Milestone Project offer the GLASGOW ABSTINENCE PROVISION, now reaching most parts of the city.

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Contact:

Keira J MacDougall,Second Chance Project,keira@kjmevents.com, 0141 336 7272, 07765867062

Andy Dewar, Turning Point Scotland, andydewar@turningpointscotland.com, 0141 427 9425, 07837765483

 

Additional notes to Editor:

The Glasgow Abstinence Partnership is a trio of Community Rehabilitation Services in the city who have banded together to increase recovery from addiction in the city by promoting abstinence based approaches more strongly. The GAP was launched in August 2011 at a mini abstinence summit in the Quaker meeting house. For the first time Recovery fellowships sat down with their counterparts in treatment services and talked Recovery from Addiction. The GAP work is funded by a grant of 150k from the Glasgow Alcohol and Drug Partnership.

The GAP has project bases in each area of the city.

Second Chance in the North West.

In the North East of The city, Turning PointScotland’s Milestone project will be focussing on getting people abstinent in preparation for a place  on a year long community based rehabilitation service that is run by them with funding fromGlasgowaddiction Service.

In the South of the City Turning Point Scotland’s South East Alternatives will be adding capacity to its busy year long recovery programme. They launched the Recovery For Men project on Nov 29th. This will add a new recovery route for men in the city.

The GAP project also has city wide initiatives to promote continued abstinence in a community setting.

  1. The All City Recovery Volunteer task force is currently training people who have graduated community rehabilitation programmes, the opportunity to train and work in the community rehabilitation services that help them.
  2. The SUSTAIN programme is currently running evening recovery therapy groups to individuals who have completed the initial year of treatment.
  3. In Each health and social care sector the GAP is pulling together all the major players in treatment for addiction into Conversation Café’s to begin working together on promoting greater abstinence and recovery in the city.

 

Scotland’s success inParisthis year was the second time that the Homeless World Cup had been won by a Scottish team; in 2007, inCopenhagen,Scotlandwon the competition for the first time.  This year was also the first time thatScotlandparticipated in the Women’s Homeless World Cup and the team finished in 5th place, the highest placed European side. Scotland’s Men’s team is now ranked 3rd in the world and the Women’s team is ranked 7th.

 

As well as selecting and managing Scotland’s Men’s and Women’s Homeless World Cup teams, Street Soccer Scotland provides a range of grassroots ‘street soccer’ sessions and events at local and national levels, focusing on engaging, coaching and supporting participants.  Through itsStreetSoccerAcademyit provides personal development programmes which are delivered in partnerships with relevant agencies.