Products from the Bala Sport Fairtrade football range.
Billy Wood

Dulwich Hamlet FC pair with sports brand in first ever English football fairtrade deal

London’s Dulwich Hamlet FC have announced a new partnership with Glaswegian sports brand Bala Sport.

The three-year pairing, which covers first team, reserve and youth matches, will see Bala supply match balls for selected matches and all the club’s training sessions, following the official launch of the partnership this Saturday.

Bala are most well-known for their Fairtrade footballs which are manufactured in Pakistan where workers are paid a fair rate, work in safe conditions and enjoy the right to trade union representation.

The balls were launched at Hampden Park last February, and also featured in a match between FC United and Benfica B last summer.

Dulwich Hamlet, who play at Champion Hill Stadium, are currently flying high in the Isthmian Premier League, the seventh tier of English football, and have enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years from fans disillusioned by top flight football.

Commenting on the new partnership, First Team Manager and Head of player development partner Aspire, Gavin Rose, said: “Dulwich Hamlet is a Club that does things the right way, and we were only too pleased to agree this deal.

“What Bala has produced under fair working conditions is as good as anything out there in the market. And if it’s good enough for Benfica, it’s good enough for Dulwich Hamlet.”

Duncan Hart, Chair of Dulwich Hamlet Supporters Trust, commented: “We love what Bala Sport are doing, especially as being owned by their members, they share our values. It fits with the way we do things now, and how we want to do them in the future at a supporter-owned Dulwich Hamlet FC.”

Angus Coull, Joint MD at Bala Sport said: “It’s a fantastically simple thing that Bala Sport does: we put the men and women in Pakistan who make our balls first, paying them fairly for the work they do and giving them the rights at work that we all enjoy.

“With the benefits of the extra Fairtrade cash Premium we pay they can look forward to a brighter future for their families. Football is in need of good news stories.

“At grassroots levels there are so many exciting and positive stories taking place which struggle to get exposure in the shadow of the Premier League.

“This partnership with Dulwich Hamlet, a club which shares so many of our own values, is a great example of the good that football can do – and how its reach is almost unparalleled.”

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