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Children with an Alive & Kicking ball


We were very proud, impressed, moved, inspired and delighted to have worked with the following wonderful organisations to make The Ball 2010 happen…

Special Olympics

A game of Unified Football in Africa

“Special Olympics and The Ball together have the power to break down the many barriers and divisions that the world faces. This journey to the World Cup will create understanding and friendships through sport, something that Special Olympics accomplishes daily, throughout the world.”
— Dr. John Dow, Managing Director, Special Olympics.

The Ball is teaming up with Special Olympics which has programmes in over 30 African countries. Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities through sport, promoting acceptance for all, and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Special Olympics Global Football is supported by football greats such as Osvaldo (Ossie) Ardiles, Gerard Houllier, Teofilo Cubillas, Kaka, David James, Doris Fitschen and Christine Lilly. In Africa, Special Olympics is a partner in FIFA’s Football For Hope movement, and in Europe a 10–year partner with UEFA’s We Care program.

The partnership will help to create awareness of the many challenges people with intellectual disabilities in Africa face and will spread the message of acceptance and inclusion and foster unity through participation in joint activities. The Ball will visit Special Olympics Africa (SOA) projects; meet their athletes, coaches and supporters; play many games of Unified Football; participate in 14 SOA festivals; and help SOA to break down negative stereotypes concerning the intellectually disabled. Our partner Alive & Kicking will deliver their durable and repairable balls to SOA programs throughout Africa.

The Ball supports the concept of Unified Sport™, which combines SOA athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities on football teams for training and competition against other unified teams. When all participants are actively included and accepted on the team, a positive and rewarding experience is guaranteed for everyone and negative stereotypes are diminished.

Alive & Kicking

Children with an Alive & Kicking ball

“We hope that by being a part of the journey we can help Spirit of Football CIC and Special Olympics to use football to cut across cultural barriers, reduce prejudice and celebrate the vital role that football plays in everyone’s lives.”
— Will Prochaska, Director, Alive & Kicking

We plan to help Alive & Kicking to reach their goal of donating 100,000 balls to children across sub–Saharan Africa by the start of the 2010 World Cup. As part of this campaign, A&K will transport footballs to Special Olympics programmes en route.

Alive & Kicking manufactures hand stitched, durable, repairable balls in Sub–Saharan Africa, providing jobs for up to 130 previously–unemployed adults. The balls are bought by donors for distribution to schools and children’s projects and are printed with health awareness messages. Each job at Alive & Kicking provides an income for a stitcher which is typically the only income in a family of up to 10 people.

Todo Alemán

Soldiers with a prototype of The Ball

Todo Alemán is an international online cultural exchange platform of the Goethe–Institut dedicated to encouraging youths to learn more about German language and culture. Todo Alemán’s interactive football content and cultural and social networking complement our vision to use football as a tool to encourage people around the world to learn about culture, history, music, geography and the importance of football.

The partnership with The Ball 2010 was announced at the official launch of the Todo Alemán web application in New York in August 2009. Further events are planned in Berlin and Erfurt for late 2009. During the journey, one of the directors of Spirit of Football CIC will write a regular blog in English that will be syndicated on the Todo Alemán website as he accompanies The Ball.

DHL Express

DHL van in action

“DHL Express, Sub–Saharan Africa acknowledges what a great and worthwhile positive message the journey of ‘The Ball’ communicates to so many thousands of people. We are proud to provide our support, through our world renowned logistical solutions, for its journey across the African Continent”
— Phil Couchman, Managing Director, DHL Express SSA

The Ball will have the support of DHL Express Sub–Saharan Africa. They have agreed to provide logistical support for the journey through Africa. DHL, being one of the world’s leading logistics company, will provide invaluable assistance with the journey across the African continent. They will also be delivering Alive & Kicking footballs that have been donated by the public to Special Olympics projects through Africa.

Spirit of Football e.V.

The Ball 2006 at a 24hr marathon

Spirit of Football e.V. is a not–for–profit organisation based in Erfurt, Germany. The organisation was established by Andrew Aris in 2005 to use the possibilities that are offered by football to realize positive social change and academic projects. The similarity of the names led Andrew to discover The Ball.

Through their partnership with the University of Erfurt since 2006, students have been taking a seminar called “Spirit of Football”, gaining real project management experience and credit points each semester as a result. The students have helped research material for a country database for The Ball’s journey to South Africa and have written outreach letters to organizations throughout Africa. Their outreach resulted in contact with Alive & Kicking, whose subsequent publicity led to contact with Special Olympics.

Students have also organised several events for Spirit of Football e.V. The most current, called “Fans will be Friends,” took place in the Thüringen Halle in Erfurt, Germany on Friday October 16th 2009. Spirit of Football CIC was in attendance to add the story of The Ball to the sporting and cultural mix.

Freestyle Football Federation

Freestyle skills

The Freestyle Football Federation is the governing body for the sport of freestyle football, promoting the sport as a natural approach to developing skill, staying fit and being healthy to young people allover the world. It is guided by 25 respected freestyle experts who act as ambassadors across 20 countries on 5 continents. These ambassadors are pioneers within the sport and each have their regional and national networks of up to 100,000 freestylers.

F3 provides an information portal and social platform for freestylers, enthusiasts and others to get involved with freestyle football worldwide. This network is available to assist partner organisations and their projects around the globe, adding value to events and leaving a consistent legacy of skills. F3 will provide freestylers to offer tricks workshops to players along The Ball’s route. Young people will be able to try out these tricks with The Ball as it passes through communities between London and Johannesburg.

The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.