Pledges from our Football for Good colleagues

Festival23 brought female young leaders from across the world as well as representatives (staff, managers, directors etc.) of Football for Good organisations. All of the people at Festival23 are engaged, often committing their life work, to football for good and social causes. We had the opportunity to talk to many of them and they in turn were eager to sign The Ball and make a pledge to support their communities, organisations and the environment.

Spirit of Football has been part of the Common Goal network for a long time, a network of NGOs, players and organisations that all are committed to using football to encourage social change. So it was a great chance and an honour to be able to speak to Jürgen Griesbeck, I am Jürgen Griesbeck, the CEO of Common Goal, and perhaps THE leading person in the history of football for good. Jürgen’s pledge on behalf of Common Goal:

Jürgen Griesbeck: Common Goal pledges to build coalitions both around Climate Action and Gender Equity, which means to activate all stakeholders in football to actually radically work together, radically collaborate around these topics at a scale that is necessary in order to tackle these challenges and this is in the context of One Ball, One World.

Football For Good legend Jürgen Griesbeck,CEO of Common Goal, signs The Ball and pledges.

We were really inspired by so many people at Festival23. One the most inspirational of all was Sol Fauquier whose endless positive energy and drive for fighting for gender equality through football was and is such a model for the youth leaders to follow.

Sol Fauquier: My pledge for gender equity is keep bringing leadership opportunities for young women so that they become the leaders and the game changers in the future. Una Pelota, Un Mundo.

Sol Fauquier, Gender Equity Lead at Common Goal, with The Ball at Festival23

George Springborg: My pledge is to support and enable the entire football for good sector to maximise football’s contribution to the planet and engaging all stakeholders in football to ensure that football does what it can to support the planet.

George Springborg, Head of Community at Common Goal, holds The Ball at Festival23 in Sydney.

The Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) is committed to advance women’s football and tackle sustainability and climate issues. We ran two workshops at Festival 23: one with OFC Middle Managers and one with OFC Youth Leaders.

Ally Osborne: I pledge to do my part to help our organisation become more sustainable with our sustainability committee and working with our organisation to create our sustainability strategy, hopefully in the coming year, in a research-based and driven way. I also commit to using a keep-cup and reusable water bottle and inspiring and encouraging others to do the same.

Ally Osborne from the Social Responsibility Department at Oceania Football Confederation (OFC).

There are a lot of challenges facing our region across the Pacific. Most of all really climate change and the impacts it has on our region. So myself and our organisation, we are pledging to continue to use the power of football to change lives, to promote gender equality and to tackle climate change.

Mike Armstrong, Head of Social Responsibility at Oceania Football Confederation (OFC)

The Jamaican Women’s National Team has been fighting a battle for support from their football federation. When this wasn’t forthcoming they even had to set up a GoFundMe campaign to ensure their participation at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. Sashana Campbell is one of the Reggae Girlz and she rushed to join Festival23 activities directly after playing in the World Cup found of 16 for Jamaica. She was one of the panelists during the Football for Good Forum.

Sashana Campbell: My pledge is to fight for equality and better resources for our Jamaican players.

Sashana Campbell, Jamaica National Team Player (Reggae Girls), and Gender Equality Advocate with The Ball at Festival23.

Assmaah Helal, Operations Manager for Football United and Head of Operational Growth at Creating Chances. She was inspirationally involved in organizing Festival23.

Assmaah Helal: I pledge to always commit to sharing my knowledge, experience and network, so that women have the opportunity to grow and thrive in society.

Assmaah Helal, Operations Manager for Football United and Head of Operational Growth at Creating Chances.

Theo Bunde-Birouste signed The Ball on behalf of his mother Anne Bunde-Birouste, founder and director of Football United. Unfortunately Anne, who was the driving force behind making Festival23 happen, could not be there for the Festival’s Closing Ceremony. So Theo, took The Ball and pledged on her behalf.

I believe she (his mother Anne – Founder of Football United) would want to pledge to striving to continue fighting to provide opportunities for women and to make a change to not only restore our climate but to improve it.

Theo Bunde-Birouste, Project Manager at Football United with The Ball at Festival 23 in Sydney

Youth leaders at Festival23 were also keen to sign The Ball and pledge. Amber Kaiiti (Australia) and Keke Mikisi (Zambia) are both future leader to watch in the Football for Good space.

Amber Kaiiti: I am from Creating Chances in Armidale and my pledge is to compost more. One Ball, One, World!

Amber Kaiiti, Creating Chances in Armidale, Australia, holds The Ball.

Keke Mikisi: I pledge to raise awareness on climate change in Zambia as well as to plant at least 10 trees per year.

Keke Mikisi from Grassroots Soccer in Zambia with The Ball.

I am Emilia and I pledge to support women and men to play football equally and I also want to take shorter showers.

Emilia Pazmino volunteered for festival23 and signed The Ball at Palm Beach in Sydney

Finally, football for good is also about bringing people from different backgrounds, with different religions, genders, talents and dreams together. Adath and Dima (Israeli and Palestinian) came together to pledge:

I’m Adath, my name is Dima, and we are from the Peres Center for Peace. And we promise to keep using football to bring people together.

Dima and Adath from the Peres Center for Peace with The Ball

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