Meeting old and new friends at Wembley

Back where it all began

London St Pancras International 3.10.2022: The Ball is coming back to where its journey began on 10 July 2022, ready to meet old friends and make new ones in London – the city where football began. With a little delay, The Ball and Jenny Amman arrived at Wembley stadium for the Sport Positiv Summit, where they ran straight into the arms of Spirit’s wonderful partner organisations Pledgeball and Football for Future. After almost 2 years of being in contact with many of the people all around the world using sport to tackle climate change, there are still many who we hadn’t met face to face. Lewis Blaustein or “Lovely Lew” is behind GreenSportsBlog and EcoAthletes was there. Thanks to Lew The Ball was able to meet for example Gary Gilliam, the former American football offensive tackle in Pittsburgh, USA in Setpember. So being at Sport Positive felt in many ways like a class reunion and hardly anyone could resist signing The Ball. In fact, our little fellow was so popular that it was almost impossible to focus on the thematic panels and the incredible speakers discussing, among other things:

– Learning from Recent Major Sustainability Strategies 

– UNFCCC: Insights For Sport To Set The Pace For Climate Action 

– Moving From Commitment To taking Action 

Due to some unforeseen circumstances, only one Spirit member was able to accompany The Ball. Luckily, we have such wonderful partners and friends in the field that we could fully rely on their support with the incredibly important tasks of making sure as many people as possible get to head and sign The Ball and make their climate pledge. 

In the evening, The Ball was invited to join Team Pledgeball for a social gathering which ended in about half the summit coming over to continue conversations. Guided by the brilliant Ben Mole, Jenny and The Ball arrived with one day delay at their host’s house: Tom McCabe, who is a historian currently writing a book about US soccer history, welcomed Jenny and The Ball to his London home and made them feel very welcome. Unfortunately, with the conference going on, there was not that much time to chat, yet the morning coffee was very well spent with interesting conversations about – you guessed it right – football/soccer.

Once again, a massive thank you to Tom for hosting us, the short but lovely talks and for being so incredibly flexible – as travelling with The Ball hardly ever goes as planned. 

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