by Lisa Love (July 2014)
Local Riviera Maya Rotary chapters came together to donate 500 nearly indestructible soccer balls to local public schools of the municipality of Solidaridad, Quintana Roo.
President Elect of the Rotary Club of Playa del Carmen Seaside, Doug Morgan, and other members of the club were excited to participate in the “Mini Mundial” soccer tournament held at the Unidad Deportiva Luis Donaldo Colosio on June 14, 2014. They joined forces with local Rotary Clubs from Playa del Carmen, Cancun and the Riviera Maya, together with the municipality of Solidaridad as well as other local government programs and sponsors to celebrate the kick-off of the "Keep the Ball Rolling" campaign.
The "Keep the Ball Rolling" campaign is in keeping with the One World Futbol Project. It is a nearly indestructible ball that never needs a pump and never goes flat. It can be punctured multiple times with no consequence. The One World Futbol is designed to last for years even in the roughest of landscapes.
The One World Futbol Project was inspired by inventor Tim Jahnigen. Deeply moved while watching news footage about traumatized refugee youth in Darfur playing soccer on dirt using a ball they had made by tying trash together with twine, he was inspired to create an indestructible ball that could withstand the harsh conditions often faced by youth living in refugee camps, disaster areas and other disadvantaged communities. Thus was born the idea to design a ball that played like a soccer ball, but would never need a pump and never go flat.
The initial funding for the research and development of this nearly indestructible ball came from the famous singer/song-writer Sting. He provided the initial funding to do the research and development for a prototype of the One World Futbol. The ball itself derives its name from the song "One World (Not Three)", written by Sting.
"Keep the Ball Rolling" is an initiative to keep the children of the Riviera Maya positive and playing. “The world keeps turning, so shall the ball,” stated the head of the Instituto del Deporte Municipal of Solidadridad, as he gave the first of the 500 donated balls to the children of Solidaridad.
A single One World Futbol can outlast hundreds of regular balls, allowing children in the Riviera Maya and all over the world to "Keep the Ball Rolling," in disadvantaged communities where play and sport are used to help foster social change.