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Win a Bala Sport Fairtrade Football!
As the world shortly descends on its first Fair Trade capital city, Cardiff, for the exciting UEFA Champions League Finals, we’re putting the spotlight at the centre of the game – the ball. Fans the world over are gripped by a game of football, where the direction of where the ball is headed next keeps them on the edge of their seat. Despite the importance of the forward direction of the ball, little focus is put on where the ball has come from.
There are 180 million people living in Pakistan, with over 20% living on less than $1.25 a day. Around 40,000 people in the city of Sialkot work in sports ball production.Almost 70% of the world’s hand-stitched sports balls are produced there. While production of footballs is the driving economy of Sialkot, the industry has a long history of poor working conditions and low pay. In a sport where top players can earn over tens of million of pounds annually, there is a responsibility to protect workers receiving a low pay.
Bala Sport is a UK co-operative that produces Fairtrade footballs, futsal and rugby balls with Fairtrade volley- balls and netballs coming soon. Keep an eye out for the upcoming launch of their Fairtrade rugby balls. Fairtrade guarantees no child labour and that the men and women who make the products are paid a fair wage,benefit from fair working conditions and receive an additional Fairtrade premium used for social development projects. The Fairtrade Premium from the sales of Bala Sport’s balls have been used to fund projects like free eye clinics and subsidised glasses for workers, and free school equipment for workers’ children. The Premium has also part funded larger scale projects such as water purification plants outside the factory gates so that workers, their family and the whole community benefits from the Fairtrade Premium.
Learn more about Fairtrade footballs by watching this video from the Fairtrade Foundation.
Get behind the Fairtrade game. There are many ways of getting involved. Buy Fairtrade Footballs from Bala Sport, or independent Fair Trade shops like Fair Dos. Learn more about the brilliant Pembrokeshire-based, Fair Trade in Football Campaign. You could have a workshop at your school, or take part in a Fairtrade Football Championship! More Fairtrade balls used across the game, from large multi-million pound leagues to junior Saturday morning matches, would have a huge impact on the lives of millions working within the industry. As Wales becomes increasingly known to the world as the home of football legends and legendary events, may we remain Together Stronger and be remembered for the right reasons. Let’s make football fair!