Meet the Dad inspiring our kids to change the world
How many times have you had 'that' conversation with your kids, you know the one, about how lucky they are to have all the things they take for granted? It was one of these parent moments that led Sam Davy to create PARK SSC, a socially conscious lifestyle brand with a mission to inspire our kids to change the world.
As the father of three was looking out into his backyard dotted with discarded soccer balls, he found himself wondering how many kids around the world would love to have any ball to play with, never mind a brand new one. It really hit home that there are millions of disadvantaged kids who love soccer, but don’t have the opportunity to play. ‘The idea was born to start a soccer brand that creates amazing products and that helps our kids understand the imbalance of opportunity around the world, whilst helping those kids that really need it,’ Sam explains.
With a background in design (including a 6-year stint as Creative Director for Apple - yes, that Apple! - and local bag brand Crumpler) and a passion for philanthropy, Sam created a one-for-one soccer ball - for every ball purchased, PARK passes another identical ball to a kid in need around the world. Re-thinking the humble ball in this tangible way makes it easy for our kids to understand how they can create change just by deciding to purchase one ball over another.
'PARK focusses on breaking the cycle of disadvantage by introducing the next generation to the imbalance of opportunity amongst their peers and gives them a platform to act, through a sport they love. Hopefully this sews the seed of social change early, and in a way that's relevant.'
Fast forward a couple of years and PARK has passed over 8000 balls to kids in 25 countries ‘Our impact partners use the balls in a many different ways, but all are focussed on using soccer to reach kids and youth, keep them focussed in a positive direction, help teach them life and leadership skills to overcome the everyday hurdles they face,’ says Sam. ‘We focus on supporting refugees and people seeking asylum, equal opportunities for girls, at-risk youth, and abandoned children.’
The brand has since expanded into apparel, with 50% of the profits from the clothing going to support soccer programs for these disadvantaged kids.
'As our impact spreads the story I keep coming back to is of a young boy called John, about the same age as my son, from a children's home in rural Uganda.' recalls Sam. 'John loves soccer, but never had a real ball so when he was given his own new soccer ball it became his prized possession. He is now doing well at school and is playing soccer in the local team. Him knowing that a kid on the other side of the world thought about him and passed him a ball is a beautiful thing.'