Tavernspite County Primary School has taken up a Fairtrade football challenge, after a return visit from Voluntary Fair Trade Wales School’s Speaker, Sharron Hardwick.
During a whole school assembly Sharron shared some football facts, noting the vast difference between the meagre 22p wages paid to some football stitchers per ball, compared to other football workers. Reporting on her experience working for Stoke City FC she comments on the large fees paid for players like Wayne Rooney who are rumoured to earn £120,000 per week.
“Fairtrade and football are often not linked. Working for a Premier League football club makes me feel even more responsible for speaking out about the unfair wages paid to football stitchers. We must act, support and buy Fairtrade in football; otherwise this unfairness will continue to go unnoticed.” said Sharron Hardwick.
The Fair Trade Wales assembly, and a Year 2 lesson, were taught the difference which Fairtrade makes. Fairtrade helps communities by providing premiums, monitoring working conditions and ensuring fair pay. A living wage is given so workers and producers can afford accommodation, health care and school fees; meaning children can go to school, rather than working to bridge the deficit.
Sharron has high hopes of promoting Fairtrade in football, supported by Fair Trade Wales and Relief and Development Aid Agency Tearfund. Plans are to ask Pembrokeshire and Stoke–On-Trent schools, Church groups and amateur football clubs to support Fairtrade in football campaigns and use Fairtrade footballs.
If enough support is generated, Sharron will approach the Football Association asking them to consider using Fairtrade balls. The F.A. control which balls are used by football clubs in their games and could be using Fair Corp’s Fairtrade footballs.
“I have a dream to see 100% Fairtrade in football. This is a massive challenge! Local teams like Kilgetty A.F.C, Haverfordwest County and Tenby A.F.C have shown interest; now local schools are getting on board. I hope support will grow, and our desire for fairness is heard.” concludes Sharron.
Blog and photos by Sharron Hardwick.