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Person stories: Religion was big barrier when I was growing up

Brendan Kingsmore on the important role sport plays in his life

By Staff Reporter

Brendan (26) from Lisburn captained the NI Street League team at the Homeless World Cup in Chile.

The squad arrived home last week with medals after winning the Accion Total Cup.

Brendan said: "Football has always been my passion.

"When I was about 15 I messed about with the wrong crowd and was excluded from school and put out of the house.

"I was in hostels, out on the streets, sleeping rough.

"I look at it now and feel lucky I am out of it.

"It is not something you would wish on anyone.

"Without football I wouldn't be here today.

"It makes me happy. It has kept my mind occupied. It is a big part of life.

"The Street League is amazing.

"One barrier I had growing up was on the religious side of things but going there you meet people of different religions and races, you are making friends, getting away from your problems and enjoying yourself."

Brendan has just received the keys to his own home and is determined to support other young people going through difficult times.

"Over the last year I have been part of the Prince's Trust programme and am now an Young Ambassador for them," he said.

"I am also taking up courses in Maths and English to set myself up for life.

"I want to help other young people."

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