Sport can help more than we think

by andree-anne talbot on October 30, 2013 - 11:55pm


It often happens that people are decreasing therapies not provided by experts such as psychologists and psychotherapists, but apparently “sport therapies” are working for some people. Billy Pagonis and Ed Kiwa-Quinlan can relate to this very well because they all have been through different kind of struggles and the Street Soccer Canada team helped them deal with it.

 Billy Pagonis was a professional soccer player in Europe and had realized his biggest dream. After a while, he stopped playing soccer and he had troubles getting in a new life, which was the “normal citizen” life. Pagonis spent all of his money at gambling, had an addiction to painkillers and spent time in jail. He became clean in 2007, but something was missing, he needed something to hold on to. So when he discovered about the soccer team, he saw a great opportunity to make a comeback. He is now the coach of the team and helps the players to do so with their life.

Ed Kiwa-Quinlan was born in Uganda and at the age of 14n and wanted to be a professional soccer player, but the war made him a soldier. He saw horrible things in his life and came to Canada thinking this would make him forget all he had seen and done. Unfortunately, he had a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and couldn’t forget about the war and that made him a homeless person. Paul Gregory was looking in the shelters to recruit new players for the soccer team ask Kiwa-Quinlan to be one of their new members. Kiwa-Quinlan was so happy about that and instantly forgot about the suicidal ideas he had that they and was thinking only about playing soccer. The team made it to the Homeless World Cup in Mexico City and that day, Ed Kiwa-Quinlan had never been prouder than this. He was representing his country and playing soccer and this is all what mattered for him.

Paul Gregory is the one that looks out in shelters to find new players and he discovered that it is unnecessary to talk about the past with the homeless people, the first thing they really need isn’t talking about themselves and their struggles, what they really need is something to hold on to, they need activities, social relationships. Being in a team is exactly providing this kind of “treatment” and it gives them pride, hope and confidence.


Finally this article that I’ve just read is showing that sometimes all you need, if you want to get trough struggles, is something that keeps you up with life. Apparently, sports can be one of these things and it can work better than always relating and talking about the past and difficulties.



Hello!! i'm shiina, i'm japanese university student.
i'm ganna writte a comment in your article.
i was very impressed to Billy Pagonis story, 'couse his way of life is very cool.
i was belong to soccer club in junior high scool, so i can think about difficulty of soccer.
thank you!!