Kiwis Offer a Sporting Chance for Workers in Pakistan

Published: Tue 17 May 2011 04:25 PM
Fairtrade Sports Balls Launch – Kiwis Offer a Sporting Chance for Workers in Pakistan
Fairtrade Certified sports balls are to be launched in New Zealand at the Auckland Girls Grammar School, 16 Howe Street, Ponsonby, Auckland on Thursday 19th May at 1pm
The AGGS rugby team will be on the field trying out some new Fairtrade Certified™ rugby balls, and TV presenter, Ben Boyce (a Fairtrade supporter) will be joining the girls on the pitch.
The majority of sports balls are hand stitched, often by people working long hours and in poor conditions. About 75% of footballs are produced in Pakistan’s poor Sialkot region. In some cases parents earning less than the minimum wage are forced to supplement their own inadequate incomes by having their children work as well. The Fairtrade system gives workers and stitchers in the sports ball industry in places like Sialkot an opportunity to improve their lives.
Fairtrade Standards for hired labour require that wages for workers equal at least the minimum wage, that there’s no child labour, and that they have a Joint Body comprising of management, factory worker and stitcher representatives so that the voice of the worker is heard.
Fairtrade ANZ CEO, Stephen Knapp says “It’s great to see schools and the students in them embracing Fairtrade. The makers of the Jinta balls available now in New Zealand also decide democratically amongst themselves what social projects to spend the additional Fairtrade Premium on.
“They’ve set up a Fair Price Shop so they can buy staple foods at wholesale prices. This has been a crucial benefit for them after the steep increase in prices caused by the devastating floods in Pakistan. The Fairtrade Premium has also provided water filtration systems to avoid water borne diseases” says Knapp.
Dynamic Sport is the only importer of Fairtrade Certified™ sports balls in New Zealand. The range of Jinta branded balls is available direct from Dynamic Sport and online. Nigel Morgan, Managing Director says “We firmly believe that as awareness grows about the product, more and more schools will want to support the use of these ethically made balls in their PE programmes and for use by their teams. The feedback from New Zealand schools has been excellent, with many commenting on the superb grip of the netballs and rugby balls and the soft touch of the soccer balls. We are convinced that the Jinta brand of balls will become an integral part of school PE sheds throughout New Zealand.”
Auckland Girl’s Grammar School will be testing the Fairtrade balls on Thursday. Sports Coordinator, Fiona Reid says “Auckland Girl’s Grammar School are avid supporters of Fair Trade products and have been for some time. Our girls are always active in raising awareness for causes they believe in and this is no exception. When offered the chance to use Fairtrade Certified balls for training there was an overwhelming eagerness by all those asked. After the initial viewing of some training and match balls it was obvious that the workmanship and quality of equipment was strong, in the eyes of the girls it was a 'no brainer' - support Fair Trade.”

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