An indestructible ball for years of soccer

As Mr Tim Jahnigen watched a news report in 2006 about children in Darfur playing football with a ball made of trash, he knew he had to do something about it.

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For these children living in low-income communities in refugee camps and disaster areas, he knew there was a need for a ball that would never go flat.

Mr Jahnigen, also a lyricist and event producer, started designing a ball that was "classic" in all ways but one - it would never need to be replaced.

It remained just a concept until the singer Sting, Mr Jahnigen's friend, funded the initial research and development phase.

Four years after Mr Jahnigen saw the news footage, the "One World Futbol" was ready - a shatterproof ball made of PopFoam, a material similar to the one used in Crocs shoes. And four years later, the company built by him and his wife, Ms Lisa Tarver, has just produced its one millionth ball.

One World Futbol balls are now present in more than 160 countries, thanks to a system in which for each US$39.50 (S$50) ball bought, another goes to a charity organisation working with needy children around the world.

The company's next goal is to build an indestructible ball for the world's second-most popular sport - cricket.