The Ball reaches Australia amidst Women’s World Cup

Diary notice: 31.07.2023

The Ball – a symbol of gender equality and climate change awareness across the world – with 11,700 signatures, arrives in Melbourne. To be hosted by City in the Community (Melbourne F.C.).

Using the motto One Ball, One World, the project is run by non-profit organisation Spirit of Football (SOF), promoting gender equality through football in 21 countries in 13 months and investigating how people around the world have been dealing with the consequences of climate change.
What is The Ball? It’s a special fairly-made football that has made its way from the home of modern rules football (Battersea Park, London), running education workshops through Europe, North Ameri-ca, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania on its way to the co-host nations of the 2023 Women’s World Cup. It’s a ball with a mission: to unite people around football to engage in conversations about the impacts of climate change and gender inequity and the ways in which we all can make a difference. Whoever meets (and usually heads) The Ball is invited to make a pledge: I am going to [take this ac-tion] to make my [family, community, planet] stronger.

Former Australian Matildas Captain and current Melbourne City F.C. Goalkeeper Melissa Barbieri is supporting The Ball in Melbourne:
“Football has the power to inspire and the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup is a huge moment in Australia and New Zealand’s history. To have the best women’s footballers on our shores for a month will inspire so many girls and boys to take up the game. By having City in the Community working closely alongside the team from Spirit of Football, we are able to use our great game as a vehicle to discuss important issues around gender equity and climate change. This will help leave a lasting legacy for young people across Melbourne long after the final whistle has blown.”
To get a glimpse of The Ball in action — and a few of the many people who have played and pledged as part of its journey – check out this short video:

So far approximately 11,280 people have signed The Ball and pledged to use the power of football to take action to make their communities stronger and to take better care of the environment. Liverpool F.C. manager Jürgen Klopp is amongst the Spirit of Football Ambassadors supporting the project.
As The Ball travels, Spirit of Football runs education workshops in football clubs, schools and football for good organisations. The FIFA Foundation supported SOF’s education resource development and testing.

The Ball’s Schedule in Australia (tbc)

The Ball in Australia is supported by the U.S. Embassy (Canberra) and U.S. Consulates (Sydney, Melbourne and Perth). Australian schedule and partners:

1. The Ball in Melbourne

Monday 31st of July to Thursday August 3rd in co-operation with City in the Community, the charitable arm of Melbourne City Football Club::

  • Monday, 31st of July: 6:30pm – The Lions of Afghanistan Women’s National Team in Exile at Robert Barret Reserve Maribyernong, Melbourne.
  • Tuesday, 1st of August: 1:00pm – Casey Fields (Melbourne City F.C.). Meet the MFC players and have Socceroo Matt Leckie sign the ball. 160 Berwick-Cranbourne Rd, Cranbourne
    + 3:00pm to 4:15pm – Casey Fields Primary School outdoor workshop. Age group: 10 – 12 years of age.
  • Wednesday, 2nd of August: 8.30am to 11am – Port Phillip Prison rehabilitation project workshop. Group Camp, 451 Dohertys Rd, Truganina VIC 3029
    + 2pm to 4pm – North Melbourne Street Soccer Program workshop. North Melbourne Community Centre, Boundary Rd, North Melbourne Victoria 3051
    + 8pm to 10pm – Jamaica vs Brazil – FIFA World Cup match. Melbourne Rec-tangular Stadium – AAMI Park
  • Thursday, 3rd of August: 1:00pm to 3:00pm – Visit and workshop with The Big Is-sue Women’s Street Soccer Program (supporting disadvantaged and marginalised women – using the sport to tackle homelessness and mental illness). Women’s North Melbourne Community Centre, Boundary Rd, North Melbourne Victoria 3051
    +3:00pm – Visit the Melbourne City Powerchair Team. Melbourne Sports Centres – Parkville 4.3(355) Sports complex, 10 Brens Drive Parkville.

2. Sydney

  • August 6th to 13th: Workshops with youth leaders from football for good organisations from across the globe and middle managers from Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) as part of FIFA Foundation supported Festival 23: that Football United is organising in Sydney.

3. Vasse

  • August 14th to 19th: Workshops at Vasse and Cape Naturaliste College (green ambassadors, drama classes, soccer workshop) and Vasse Primary School.
    Discussion panel on climate change within Vasse community and what methods we are looking at to combat them. Vasse Playing Fields – Undalup Association.

4. Sydney

  • August 20th: World Cup Final: Sydney Olympic Stadium.

Spirit of Football Advisory - ONE BALL ONE WORLD_World-Cup_Melbourne_Australia

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