By Iris Albulet and Andrew Aris from Spirit of Football
Have you digested the World Cup Final yet? What a tournament it has been: The quality of the games, the excitement, the support, the top-class football and the raw emotion. It’s been a historic world cup, which not only the players, fans and host nations will benefit from, but many people all over the world. Seeing Women’s Football on the world stage and being celebrated by so many, will encourage young girls, and boys, to play football, will help break gender barriers down and open the world’s most played sport up to become much more inclusive.
The Ball and its team are glad to have been part of this historic and euphoric tournament, and having played a part in supporting women’s football while advocating for gender equality and climate action, and a peaceful togetherness, under our motto of “One Ball, One World”. Fittingly, the last signatures on The Ball 2023 included Aitana Bonmati Conca of Spain, the winner of the Golden Ball award for the best player of the tournament, English icon Lauren James and Sarai Bareman, the Chief Women’s Football Officer at FIFA who pledged to continue to use her platform to fight for Gender Equality.
The Ball kicked off in Battersea Park in London on July 10th 2023 during the hottest temperatures ever recorded in the UK. The Spirit of Football team firstly developed education modules and then tested them in workshops in Germany, France, Turkey, UAE, Jordan, the USA and even at COP27 in Egypt on the first leg of the journey in 2022. The second leg saw The Ball and the Spirit of Football Team travel through Southeast Asia, (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia) as well as the South Pacific (Fiji and Kiribati) before arriving in the World Cup’s host countries Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia.
The facts and figures: More than 100 education workshops about gender equality and climate action through football delivered for and with approximately 100 partner organizations in 21 countries in 13 months. 12,561 signatures and pledges for taking better care of our people and the environment and supporting gender equality. About 700,000 CO2e kg/year of reduced emissions recorded through climate action pledges via our partner Pledgeball’s pledge tool.
Thank you to everyone who hosted The Ball on this journey, signed it and made a pledge to support your community. Together we all achieved so much. But there is so much more to be done. Let’s work together for Climate Action and a more equal and inclusive world! And let’s enjoy this beautiful game all together. One Ball, One World.