The Ball — football’s equivalent to the Olympic Torch — has reached Thailand as it continues its journey to Auckland, in time for the opening game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup on July 20.
The project — which aims to raise awareness of climate change and gender equality — has travelled through Vietnam and Cambodia during March, and will tour Thailand till April 16.
Main photo: The Ball has travelled by many modes of transport, including trains in Thailand.
New Zealand activities
The Ball’s project team will be in New Zealand for a month and are keen to hear from groups, clubs or organisations who would be interested in hosting an event.
Click here to make contact with the project team >>>>
Here’s the project team’s diary for their latest travels …
To start April, Spirit of Football has run a two-day workshop with students and lecturers of Thammasat University at Puey Park for People and Sustainability, the home of the largest green roof urban farm in Asia.
The Friedrich Ebert Foundation Thailand Office and SDG Move are hosting The Ball.
Spirit of Football will share its educational methods on sustainability and gender equality.
Before Easter, The Ball travels to Mae Sot near the Myanmar border to connect to the football for good organization PlayOnside.
PlayOnside promotes girls’ confidence, self-esteem, and respect, challenging gender-based stereotypes and prejudice to promote equality in the communities in which they work.
With project partner the ASA Foundation, the team are organizing a beach clean-up at Jomtien Beach in Pattaya, followed by a fair play beach football session with local youth.
The travelling team will run a workshop with girls at the Father Ray Children’s Village, in central Pattaya, which offers a safe place for street children who have run away from home, from poverty, abuse and neglect.
Having found a place where they are safe, free from the risk of harm, they will also get the chance to be free to play football.
READ MORE: You can follow The Ball’s journey through the project team’s blog here >>>>
READ MORE: The Ball takes a moped tour and a 20-hour train ride on its way to Auckland >>>>
As The Ball travels around the world, it gathers signatures of individuals who pledge support to advance gender equality and climate action.
Since 2002, more than 56,000 people in 56 countries have signed The Ball.
From 2022 to 2023, 57 partner organizations have organized more than 30 events and workshops that have encouraged action on climate change and gender equality amongst football enthusiasts.
Where it all started
The first person to sign The Ball on its 12-month global climate action and advocacy mission was Football Fern Katie Rood, who plays for Hearts in Scotland, and who kicked off The Ball’s journey in London.
“Everyone loves the World Cup, but if we are to be able to continue playing it in the future, we need collective and urgent climate action. The journey of The Ball across land and sea from London to New Zealand is an opportunity for football to get its environmental act in order. I am going to take action. Are you?”
Spirit of Football’s Ambassador and Liverpool FC manager Jürgen Klopp is also supporting The Ball: “It is a ball for us all. Be part of our team. Everyone can play. Respect your teammates, your opponents and the environment. One Ball, One World.”
How you can help
Do you want to be involved in the project? Follow The Ball’s journey and make your own pledge.
Find out more about the non-profit organization Spirit of Football here >>>
READ MORE: Our past stories about The Ball >>>>