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The Ball 2014'


Spirit of Football implements its innovative and engaging “Global Learning” education programmes in two ways:

  • En route, The Ball relays positive social messages at schools and stadiums through storytelling, video, slideshows and physical activity.
  • Ongoing programmes are running in schools around Europe and communities in Brazil. The core theme is “Fair Play”, as told through The Ball, its journeys and the communities supports.

Help us fight for equality, education and tolerance in Germany, Brazil and around the world!

Education en route

The Ball takes an active role in relaying positive social messages at events held at venues such as schools and stadiums. We have developed an entertaining and educational programme, honed through practice during the 2010 journey. It features storytelling, video, slideshows and physical activity and is led by the team travelling with The Ball.

During the 2010 journey, The Ball visited schools where thousands of children kicked, headed and signed it and learned about the Spirit of Football. In South Africa, we led workshops for children from 50 different schools across Sub–Saharan Africa.

Everyone wants to sign The BallEveryone gets The BallChildren love The BallThe Ball at a school in Lilongwe

The success of these workshops, and the enthusiasm that welcomed The Ball all along each World Cup journey, led us to develop an education programme themed around the phrase given to us by Special Olympics — “One Ball, One World.”

“I’ve had the pleasure of showing the wonderful 2002 5-minute film ‘Spirit of Football’ to countless schools and football clubs over the past 10 years. I can’t recommend and praise these guys highly enough for their efforts and ethos… Anyone who can kick a ball all the way from Battersea Park to Japan / South Korea / Germany and South Africa and share their joy and hopes for peace along the way deserves incredible respect.”
— Crispin Thomas, Football Poets

Ongoing Education Programme

The journey of The Ball enables Spirit of Football to generate content for our education programmes in the favelas of Brazil and to fight for equality, education and tolerance in Germany, Brazil and around the world. Central to this is the playing of “Fair Play Football”.

Fair Play Football encourages a spirit of collaboration so that all players are treated with respect. Before each game, the teams agree to play under Spirit of Football’s fair play rules. They then create their own motto, team name and chant. The game is played so that there are as many points awarded for sportsmanship as for winning. After each match, both teams come together and talk about the game, with guidance from a Spirit of Football mentor.

The children develop self-awareness through a better understanding of fairness in the game and beyond. They learn to be positive with each other, to be honest, to encourage one another and the opposition and that winning is not the most important objective.

In this way, Spirit of Football takes football back to its roots but also relates football to the modern world – one in which fair play and respect should not only be a part of every game but a way of life.

Education in Brazil

In Brazil we have been running our educational program since May 2012. We chose to work in Heliópolis, the biggest underprivileged community in São Paulo state. Heliópolis has 200,000 inhabitants, 51% of whom are children and young people under 25. We have kicked off our programme of workshops by reaching 800 children with digital, social and sport inclusion, social events, workshops about Spirit of Football and The Ball as well as donations of clothes and toys.

In 2014, we will be founding the Spirit of Football Futsal Team, where 45 children, trained by specialist teachers, will be representing the Spirit of Football in championships. After the The Ball 2014 journey, an education programme will be rolled out for the children in Heliópolis, focusing on the experiences and stories of The Ball with the objective of showing the power of football to overcome difficulties around the world.

Education in Europe

Over the last two years, more than 2000 children in 4 European countries (Germany, Greece, Poland and Ukraine) have participated in Spirit of Football’s educational programme. We have held over 20 projects at all levels from kindergarden, primary, intermediate to high schools and grammar schools.

The core of the curriculum is “Global Learning” through the theme of “One Ball, One World.”. We run an interactive programme consisting of football, video, music, photos, improvisation theatre, travelogues, and crafts. Children learn about different living situations in the countries The Ball has visited and are introduced to important social messages of fair play, respect, co–operation, participation and integration.

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.