Pope Francis initiated "Sport at the Service of Humanity" in 2015 to promote sport's values like compassion, respect, love, and joy, uniting people from diverse backgrounds, with soccer being a prime example.
As part of Socktober, participants create their own sockballs to connect with and support underprivileged children, fostering empathy and understanding for their circumstances. This initiative reflects the framework of Head, Heart, Hands, motivating students to offer support to those in need.
Make your own sockball and be part of the journey!
The iconic symbol of Socktober is a tattered, recycled ball made of socks, t-shirts, and plastic bags tied with string, representing the essence of the event.
Decades ago, a young boy named Jorge Mario Bergoglio played with a similar ball on the streets of Buenos Aires. He later became Pope Francis, but he always cherished sport and had a special connection with children from impoverished communities through this shared experience.
"I have a memory ... of the ball of rags, the 'pelota de trapo': leather was expensive and we were poor, rubber was not yet so common, but it was enough for us a ball of rags to have fun and almost perform miracles playing in the square near home."
Make Your Own Sockball
Ever wonder what it's like to play with a ball made of socks, rags, bags and string? Your first Socktober goal is to find out! Make your own sockball with help from Dorothy at Catholic Mission and her nephew in Zambia. In this tutorial, they take you through the simple steps to making your very own soccer ball.
Have a kick around with friends, family or classmates, and compare the difference between it and the soccer balls you are used to kicking in Australia.
A Socktober Icon
This ball's remarkable journey began in a small Indian village, handcrafted from recycled materials like old socks and plastic bags by students from Zambia and India. The diverse group bonded over its creation, despite their different backgrounds.
The sockball's magic lies in its unifying power. It survived travels through various countries, enduring different climates and cultures, symbolizing unity, diversity, and the joy of teamwork.
What stories might your sockball hold in the future? Share in the spirit of this incredible journey!
Perfect your Socktober Skills
The Short Pass
The short pass is one of the most vital skills in the game of soccer, and thankfully, one of the easiest to master!
Watch as our International Programs Officer and resident football guru, Conor, takes you through the steps. Then give it a go with a classmate, friend or family member!
What are the three tips you need to remember?
The Long Pass
Now that you've got the short pass in your skills set, it's time to work on the longer ball. Often, this is required when you have a teammate in space downfield or across the other side of the pitch. Watch as Conor shares how this skill is slightly different to the short pass. Find some space and practice with a teammate.
What must you do differently with a long pass?
Shooting for Goal
On your Socktober Event Day, you'll be attempting plenty of penalty goals, but it takes some skill to sneak it past the goalie. Here are some tips from our soccer guru to help you match it with the Matildas and the Socceroos and net all your shots.
Juggling the ball on your knee is one of the more difficult skills in soccer, but if you can get it right, it sure looks impressive! It can also help you to control the ball from a long pass. Conor takes you through what's needed to increase your number of knee-ups. How many can you do in succession?
What attributes do you need to master all of our Socktober Skills?