2014 Bob Giordano Memorial Award Recipient
As co-founder and coach of the Kelowna Kodiaks Homeless Street Soccer team, Tom Maxwell knows the effect sports can have in changing lives. Since 2010, Tom has been dedicated to helping those suffering from addictions, mental illness and homelessness to find a place where they can become part of a team.
In addition to increased health from the exercise, playing soccer has helped many remain sober for longer periods of time. Tom has also been able to help refer his players to social agencies that could help them, such as Inn From the Cold, Outreach Urban Health Clinic, drop in centres and more. Several players have come full circle and are now volunteering at various agencies in the city.
Tom attends weekly games and practices and goes with the team to Vancouver twice a year for tournaments. In 2014, he helped one of the Kelowna players take his first airplane flight and play in the Homeless World Cup in Chile.
People often underestimate the impact sports and recreation has as part of a strategy to reduce homelessness. Being someone his players can rely on, Tom’s non-judgmental and supporting attitude is truly changing lives.