Marek Set to Represent England in Oslo

A participant from Derby County Community Trust’s Active Choices programme has been chosen to represent his country at the upcoming Street Football World Cup.

Taking place in Oslo between the 28th August – 6th September, the Street Football World Cup will see 64 teams, representing 52 countries, come together to celebrate and highlight the life changing work of the Street Football Partner Network.

Over 500 players will take part in the tournament, each with their own individual story, one of which is Marek Hyde, 26, from Spondon who will be making the trip following his involvement in the Active Choices programme.

Active Choices is a healthy lifestyle and behavioural change programme which helps people who have struggled with substance misuse issues. It has now helped over 500 people with drug and alcohol problems to turn their lives around, giving them the opportunity to receive one-to-one support and take part in worthwhile activities at a critical point in their recovery.

Marek joined the programme back in April 2016 following a referral from Jericho House, a residential addiction recovery project which works closely with the Community Trust, supporting service users in achieving the highest quality of life and in realising their full potential.

Since joining Marek to become fitter, more active and even stop smoking. The support and exit routes have even allowed him to find full time employment and complete a Sports Leadership qualification in partnership with the Street Football Association, which led to the England call-up.

Following the news, Marek said:

“I feel brilliant, it’s such an honor which I thought that would never happen to me. It’s something I didn’t think would happen to me because it’s so unrealistic to think of playing for my country. It’s given me time to reflect on my achievements in Recovery.

“I’m really looking forward to getting out there, meeting my teammates and pulling on the shirt to represent England.”

On the involvement of the Derby County Community Trust and the Active Choices programme he said:

“They have been there for guidance and support on my exercise and nutrition. The programme has helped me make new friends, given me the opportunity to play at professional football grounds and gain a sport leader qualification, helping me to further myself.”

Marek’s call-up comes following a long line of successes between the Active Choices programme and the Street Football Association. Over the past three years nine participants have made trips to Scotland, Chile, Portugal and Holland for the tournament.

Adam Rowley from the Community Trust said:

“We are delighted for Marek. The opportunity is a reward for his engagement in the programme and the positive lifestyle changes that he has made. We have no doubts that he will do DCCT, Jericho House and his country proud throughout the tournament in August.

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