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This company gives a football away to disadvantaged kids every time you buy one

Viral sports news | Published:

You get a ball and so does a community that needs one. Simple.

Children hold footballs donated by Park Social Soccer Co (Kim Landy/Park)

Sam Davy was standing in a sports store with his son, who was looking to buy a football for a friend, when the idea for the Pass-A-Ball project began.

“I said ‘come on, let’s get a ball and go’, and he said: ‘You know what? None of these balls actually mean anything’.

“I thought, maybe there’s an opportunity to put a brand on the shelf that competes on price, design and quality but has a different message, one of inclusion and equality.”

A football designed by PARK Social Soccer Co
(Park)

“Just having a ball to play with is such a special thing still,” said Sam. “It’s the difference between having something to do and having nothing in a lot of cases.”

The ball itself is a work of art, which aims to “soften the edges of that football language” with a basic but playful design – but with 5,000 sold and 5,000 donated, it’s the philanthropic nature of this piece of kit that’s most impressive.

Park partners with a range of charities and projects to distribute footballs in countries all over the world such as Kenya, Australia, the UK and Uganda, working out where their efforts can create the most impact.

A child holds a football donated by PARK Social Soccer Co
(Chelsea Dennison/Park)

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“There are so many different stories.”

Not all of those stories are as simple as providing the world with great footballs to play with.

Park supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals, with their impact directed at four of the 17 global goals set out by the UN to transform the world by 2032.

One of those goals is gender equality, something Park is challenging a bucket load of footballs at a time.

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Children hold footballs donated by PARK Social Soccer Co
(Kim Landy/Park)

“There’s one charity in Kampala where they had two soccer teams for the boys but no team for the girls, and traditionally the girls are not allowed to play.

“They started a soccer team for the girls and we were able to give them some footballs to start their team. It’s the first one in that region that’s a girls-only football team, which is awesome.

“It allows them to have their own cool gear and they can do their thing.”

Footballs donated by PARK Social Soccer Co
(Kim Landy/Park)

“A few of the charities that we’ve been working with in the more remote areas, one in Kenya, one in Uganda, there happened to be a few kids who were really passionate about playing in goal,” said Sam.

“If the kids do break a finger or get ligament damage then they kind of just have to deal with it, there aren’t many options for them and when it’s their hand, it really stops them engaging in schoolwork.”

The new goalkeeper gloves that Park is putting on sale for a trial period, under the same one-for-one policy as the footballs, provide protection for budding goalie hands, allowing them to embrace education as much as they embrace the beautiful game.

“That’s the main thing that these guys are trying to do, they’re trying to use football to engage the kids and keep them motivated to come back,” said Sam.

“When they’re there, they do well at their school work. If they get injured in that way they can fall behind.”

Goalkeeper gloves from Park Social Soccer Co
(Park)

Park will be donating 75 footballs to FBB, but will also be working with the children on a project.

The project is called Pass-A-Ball: More Than Just A Ball, and according to Sam it’s about finding the true essence of the World Cup.

The kids will explore ideas around the power of sport and its ability to deal with social issues and inclusiveness, considering as well the backdrop of racism in football in Russia, where this summer’s World Cup takes place.

The football World Cup trophy
(Nick Potts/Empics)

“The big one is obviously a million balls,” he said. “I think it’s going to take us a while to get to that point, but I’d love to be sitting at the end of this year having done 20,000.”

To learn more about Park and the Pass-A-Ball project, click here.

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