Teams from 52 countries gather at GCU for spectacular Homeless World Cup parade

10 July 2016

Teams from 52 countries gather at GCU for spectacular Homeless World Cup parade

Sixty-four teams, representing 52 countries, kicked off the Homeless World Cup 2016 tournament with a spectacular parade from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) to Glasgow’s George Square today (July 10).

GCU is an official event partner in the Homeless World Cup 2016, which will run until July 16.

South African dancing, Norwegian Viking hats, a Welsh Dragon and plenty of kilts were among the sights on GCU’s campus as the teams gathered to march, led by a pipe band, to the opening ceremony and first day’s matches in George Square. View the images on the GCU image gallery.

As the event hub, GCU is hosting hundreds of participants on campus through the week. GCU’s Encore catering team will provide cooked breakfasts and dinners, working with food redistribution charity FareShare and local sandwich manufacturer, PJ’s Foods, founded by GCU alumni Scott Cherry and Kenneth O’Doherty, to provide meals to players and team coaches during the event.

GCU students and graduates from physiotherapy and events management programmes are also helping out during the week. Overseen by GCU PhD researcher and physiotherapy graduate Megan Lloyd, a group of 10 students will be on hand at GCU’s campus and pitch-side in George Square to help players in need of physio, first aid and massage.

Heather McManus has just finished her second year of studying International Events Management at GCU. She, along with five fellow students, is organising social events including a highland games carnival and a Zumba class on campus for the hundreds of team players to enjoy.

The Homeless World Cup, co-founded by Mel Young, who also co-founded The Big Issue magazine in Scotland, has now supported more than one million people across the globe, engaging 100,000 people annually. Through each country’s official National Partner, those who are homeless have the opportunity to enter transformative programmes from which they can build a brighter life. The Homeless World Cup Glasgow 2016 is the culmination of a year of progress for each country and player involved.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE FRSE said: “I am delighted that Glasgow Caledonian University is playing a major role in supporting the success of the 2016 Homeless World Cup here in Glasgow. Its founder, Mel Young, is an Honorary Doctor of the University and the aims of the tournament chime perfectly with our social mission as the University for the Common Good.”

Mr Young, President and Co-Founder of the Homeless World Cup, said: “We’re extremely grateful to have the support of Glasgow Caledonian University as a significant event partner. Providing a safe, comfortable place for our players is vitally important for the success of the tournament, because the tournament only works when it works for the players. We knew Glasgow would give the 2016 Homeless World Cup an amazing welcome." 

Follow all the action on Twitter #HWC2016, Facebook, and YouTube.