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“Sport is one of the most effective and practical ways of planting the seeds of peace”


Tim Jahnigen and Lisa Tarver, co-founders of One World Futbol


For every One World Futbol purchased, another is donated to an organisation using play and sport in a positive way


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t wasn’t until the age of 40 that Tim Jahnigen had a pivotal, life- changing ‘aha!’ moment. “I was


watching a news story about the plight of children in Darfur,” he says. “These acutely traumatised innocents were playing football with a ball of trash. “I suddenly sat bolt upright with the


complete and unwavering understanding of the fact that these children deserved better than that. I not only wanted to make a ball that would enable them to play, but had a vision for a new type of ball that would play like a soccer ball, but would never go fl at.” Up until his revelation, Jahnigen


had been involved in a number of different sectors and business ventures – including a career as a concert producer in the music industry. “I spent many years scrubbing, digging, washing, cooking and hammering – fulfi lling other people’s dreams and wishes,” he says,


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adding that it was his connections in the music world that ultimately made the indestructible ball a reality. Jahnigen had got to know the singer


Sting personally after being a part of the production family for the artist’s bi-annual Rainforest Fund Concert. Soon after coming up with the indestructible ball idea, Jahnigen – alongside wife and business partner Lisa Tarver – mentioned his vision to Sting over breakfast. “He was telling us how he had just fi nanced the construction of a football


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pitch in Gaza,” Jahnigen says. “I shared my idea for an indestructible soccer ball with him and he immediately offered to cover the R&D costs, provided I pursued the idea right there and then.” Sting’s involvement carries on in the


ball’s name. “When the time came to decide what this new ball should be called, Sting simply said: ‘One World’, after his hit of the same name,” says Jahnigen. Sting and his wife, Trudie Styler, continue to advocate and support the project. Jahnigen’s wife Tarver says the


venture is a mission-driven company focused on the transformative power of play. “We sell the One World Futbol through a ‘buy one, give one’ model,” she says. “For every ball purchased, we give a second one to an organisation using play and sport to teach health awareness, confl ict resolution, gender equality and life skills.” ●


November/December 2014 © Cybertrek 2014


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