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National partner profile: Denmark

OMBOLD

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The Danish National Team is selected and trained by OMBOLD, which was established in 2003. They provide football sessions, organise a variety of tournaments, and run coaches training programmes.
OMBOLD have drop-in sessions in nine cities across Denmark, which means approximately 110 players attend the sessions each week. In each city, OMBOLD work closely with the local community, local shelters, drug treatments centres, and other services. In some locations, the benefits of OMBOLD’s activities have been recognised by the local communities.

In 2014, Team Denmark received a significant financial support to attend the Homeless World Cup in Chile from former FC Liverpool and Denmark’s national player, Daniel Agger.

At least two coaches are present at each drop-in session. Most of the coaches are social workers, but some of them are former Homeless World Cup players. The Danish Football Association (DFA) provide all coaches and national players with a coaching education. OMBOLD also hold networking meetings for coaches, where various approaches to working with socially disadvantaged people in a sports context are discussed and developed.

Together, OMBOLD and the DFA train street football referees to work during the tournaments. These referees are primarily former players, offering another way of engaging them and developing their skills.

OMBOLD hold at least eight tournaments a year, with the two-day Danish Championship being the largest. All tournaments have both a mixed/men’s and a women’s division. On average there are 16 to 18 teams at each tournament.

The Danish Homeless World Cup Team is selected from among the participants of these tournaments. The selected players then participate in a longer and more intense training programme. They receive a DFA coaching education, with a focus on both football and developing personal and social skills, such as teamwork, self-esteem, self-confidence, communication, and conflict management.

Their sponsors are Carlsberg, Dansk Socialraadgiverforening, FTF, Knowledge Worker, lo, hus forbi, rema 1000, Social Paedagogerne, SUS, and Wunderelf.

Player profiles & Stories

Mission statement

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OMBOLD’s primary purpose is to ensure that homeless and marginalised people have access to sports – and especially street football – on an equal footing with all other people. Physical activity with a competitive element can inspire vulnerable people.

Dissemination of knowledge and breaking down stereotypes is also an important area of OMBOLD’s work.

Football can uncover forgotten or develop hidden skills.

Goals for the future

Education

To organise a referee course and a coaching course for players, volunteers, and social workers

Women's Programmes

To send a national women’s team to future Homeless World Cup tournaments

Additional information

Partner since

2003

Football Activities

OMBOLD organise drop-in sessions, coaches training programme, referee training, networking meetings, and a series of tournaments

Team selection

OMBOLD hold eight tournaments per year, and the national team is selected from among participants.

Non-football services

OMBOLD’s primary aim is to provide sporting opportunities to homeless people in order to improve physical and mental health, though they also connect players to other services.

Participants challenges

Participants are typically affected by substance abuse, domestic violence, and unemployment.

Organisation challenges

Football as a tool for development and social integration is not well established in Scandinavia, but OMBOLD work closely with universities to provide evidence for its effectiveness and thereby increase its profile.

Country challenges

It is generally believed that Denmark’s homelessness strategy is relatively successful. (UMD, 2012). However, there are an increasing number of homeless migrants, who are often unskilled and with no knowledge of the Scandinavian welfare system. Also, if they are not registered in Denmark, they can be denied access to publicly funded shelters in most Danish municipalities (Kirkhens Korshaer, 2014)

Homlessness definition

Homeless people are defined as people who do not own or rent homes or rooms, but have to make use of temporary accommodation, or live temporarily, without a rental contract, with relatives, friends or acquaintances. Homeless people also include those who do not have a place to stay for the coming night (The Government’s Homeless Strategy, 2009-2012).

Homelessness Statistics

In 2011, 5,290 people were registered as homeless in a given week. In 2010, more than 6,000 individuals stayed in homeless hostels (FEANTSA, 2012). However, experts estimate that 10,000 to 15,000 homeless people live in Denmark, about half of which are in the Copenhagen metropolitan area (Humanity in Action, 2001).

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