18 November 2015

Pupils hand over Fairtrade balls to Africa on the Ball Trustee Andrew Jenkin
Pupils hand over Fairtrade balls to Africa on the Ball Trustee Andrew Jenkin

Pupils from two North Lanarkshire schools have come together to show how football can unite people across the globe.

Last month, more than 80 P6/7 pupils from Holy Family and Mossend Primary Schools participated in a special sporting event at the Ravenscraig Sports Centre organised by anti-bigotry campaign Nil by Mouth as part of its ‘Kiss Bigotry Goodbye’ campaign. The aim of the event was to bring young people from different cultures and traditions together to highlight how we can achieve more by working together rather than excluding others.

The pupils were set a number of challenges which involved teamwork, physical activity, games and sporting competitions.  The pupils were set an extra special challenge ‘arms linking’ challenge which if successfully completed would see them win 10 Fairtrade footballs to send to children in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia. The balls were donated by fleet media firm Agripa Solutions which earlier this year worked with the charity and the schools on the ‘Bin the Bigotry’ campaign across North Lanarkshire.

Having successfully completed the challenge the pupils this week handed the balls over to ‘Africa on the Ball’ representative Andrew Jenkin. The charity organises football teams and competitions in Africa using the game as a way to tackle poverty of aspiration and negative influences on young people.

The event was the latest stage of the Kiss Bigotry Goodbye campaign
The event was the latest stage of the Kiss Bigotry Goodbye campaign

Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said:

‘Over the last three years we have enjoyed working with pupils from both schools to help them better understand cultures, religions and beliefs different to their own. This event saw pupils from different cultural and religious traditions coming to together to work as a team and win footballs for children in some of the poorest parts of the planet. We are all very proud of them and it is fantastic that teachers, parents and local business also played their part in making this event such a success. ‘

John Harkness, Agripa Solutions said:
‘ We are a business but we also take our corporate social responsibilities very seriously and when we heard about the brilliant work being done in Mossend we just had to get involved. Sport is a very powerful way of uniting people and we have seen the pupils really work hard to help other people who may be not be as in as fortunate a position as themselves. We’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm of both schools and their commitment to working together to help create change and showing that little acts of kindness like this can help make the world a better place.’

Andrew Jenkin, Trustee, Africa on the Ball said:
Africa on the Ball is all about opening up opportunities and accessibility for children in deprived communities in Africa to play football. Football really can change the world in many ways and following a recent trip to Pakistan to see where the fair trade footballs themselves were made, we’ve committed to only buying fair trade balls as it can make many people’s lives so much better. We’re extremely thankful to the pupils, schools and Agripa for coming together to make this happen as the balls will provide endless benefits in Zambia and Pakistan.’