Town’s Fairtrade Group donates over 100 Fairtrade rugby balls to Warrington Wolves Community Foundation

To mark this year’s World Fairtrade Day (Saturday 14th May 2011), the Warrington Fairtrade Steering Group has donated 109 Fairtrade rugby balls to support the outreach work of the Warrington Wolves Community Foundation. The rugby balls were handed over to the Club on Thursday 12th May – Wolves star Paul Wood and club mascot Wolfie were on hand to receive the balls after training at the Halliwell Jones Stadium.

The money to purchase the balls came from the Fairtrade Steering Group’s cash prize for winning the top national award for its Fairtrade Fortnight activities in 2010.
The gift of the balls builds on the strong partnership between Warrington Wolves and the Fairtrade Group in the town. During Fairtrade Fortnight this year, Wolfie paid a visit to the Fair Trade Market, the town’s Fairtrade Fortnight activities were promoted in the matchday programme for the Leeds game and all the Wolves players signed a rugby ball that was raffled to raise funds for Fairtrade work.

The rugby balls donated to Wolves all carry a ‘FairPlay’ logo and are hand-stitched in Pakistan to the highest Fairtrade standards. The balls are also made with rubber from sustainably managed forests in South India and have full Forest Stewardship Council certification.

Fairtrade products have many benefits for the communities that produce them, including a guarantee of no child labour, decent wages that allow adults to support their families and extra income for the community to help pay for schools and an electricity supply (important for storing medicine as well as providing light to study by at night).

The Community Foundation will distribute the balls to every school in the Borough and to local rugby clubs. The Fairtrade Group is arranging a briefing session with the Foundation’s coaches so that they can in turn pass on the Fairtrade message to young players. Each ball that is handed over to a school or club will also be accompanied by a special briefing note about Fairtrade.

The Chair of the Steering Group, Jackie Hancock, said:
“Wolves are big fans of the Fairtrade movement in Warrington and we wanted to thank the Club for its loyal support and also work with the Community Foundation to help get the Fairtrade message to the younger generation of rugby players in the town.”