Bala, a Glasgow-based co-operative, works with manufacturers in the northern Pakistani city of Sialkot, where around 70% of the world’s hand-stitched footballs are made. The enterprise aims to improve the lives of often exploited factory workers.
“We are delighted to sponsor Chipping Norton Town Football Club,” said Vivian Woodell, CEO of The Phone Co-op.
“When we decided to support the club, it made sense to do so by partnering with Bala to supply footballs; they are made to the same standards that FIFA use and they are a co-operative like The Phone Co-op.
Earlier this year Bala, whose name means “ball” in Gaelic and “strength” in Punjabi, benefited from £15k of investment from the Phone Co-op’s Co-operative & Social Development Fund, which helped them start-up their Fairtrade sports ball project.
Chipping Norton Town FC is one of the oldest football clubs in Oxfordshire, dating back to 1893. Adam Hunt, treasurer and long-time member, said the club prides itself on being a big part of the local community.
“The vast majority of players live in the town and many of us have played for the club since we were youngsters,” he said.
“A lot of hard work is carried out by people at the club to try to obtain sponsorship from businesses based in the area, which is something the club relies on to keep going. The new training kit & footballs have given everyone a huge boost and we are very proud to be wearing the Bala and Fairtrade logos.”