'The Big Issue' Street Football Festival

THE Big Issue Street Football Festival returns to Sydney this month for 11 days of non-stop football action on a floating pitch at Darling Harbour.

THE Big Issue Street Football Festival returns to Sydney this month for 11 days of non-stop football action on a floating pitch at Darling Harbour.

More than 1000 football enthusiasts from all walks of life will play in over 300 games from January 18-28.

As Australia-s largest free community football event, the festival promotes social inclusion and celebrates the life-changing power of sport.

The third annual festival includes competitions for corporate and government agency teams, junior players and participants from The Big Issue-s Community Street Soccer Program, which brings together disadvantaged men and women from around the country.

For the first time, the A-League-s rising stars will also go head-to-head in a new tournament for U21s from Central Coast Mariners, Sydney FC, Western Sydney Wanderers, Brisbane Roar, Melbourne Heart and the Australian Institute of Sport. The U21 competition will take place on Wednesday 23 January.

The Big Issue Street Football Festival will kick off with a special launch tournament on January 18, featuring media personalities, politicians and players from the Westfield Matildas.

Coinciding with school holidays and the Australia Day long weekend, the event is the perfect opportunity to celebrate diversity and soak up the colour and excitement of fast-paced football on a floating pitch.

A full festival schedule is available at www.thebigissue.org.au.

The Big Issue Street Football Festival 2012 from The Big Issue Australia on Vimeo.