Stories

Team NFS Heads Down Under

Australian cricketer, Ed Cowan, joins Team NFS

In partnership with Not For Sale, Australian Cricketers will be joining a growing global team of professional athletes to use their platform, connecting their on-field success to the movement to end modern-day slavery.

Team NFS is a movement of athletes, artists and musicians who are committed to using their skills and passions to make a positive change in the world. How does it work? Individuals pledge to make a donation for a particular on-field achievement. Each time that particular achievement is reached, capital is raised, funding Not For Sale’s efforts to free children from exploitation around the world. 

 “A lot of people are shocked to hear that there are 30 million people living in slavery today, and [many] of those are children,” Dave Batstone, Not For Sale’s President, said. “So we decided to create a program that not only releases a child from slavery, but provides them a new future.”

 The notion is simple; every child should be free to play. Through Team NFS, Not For Sale seeks to mobilize everyday people, providing them with an entry point into activism. Imagine a baseball pitcher striking out an opponent in San Francisco, a cricketer hitting a six in India and a football player scoring a goal in Europe – all fighting child slavery.  This narrative, connecting sporting culture to the abolitionist movement, is extremely profound.

 Already the platform has attracted incredible support from Major League Baseball in the United States, with over 15 professional baseball players joining Team NFS. Their donations, through Not For Sale’s partners on the ground, helped construct a multi-purpose sports court at the NFS Thailand project, which allows over 100 children access to a safe space for recreation and physical activity including basketball and soccer. Children, who were once vulnerable to extreme exploitation, can now enjoy the rehabilitation that physical activity provides.

 Now it’s Australia’s turn: First up, International Cricket. The simple yet powerful idea, that of creating new futures and new identities for once enslaved children, has caught the attention of Australian International Cricketers.  With a global fan base of 2.5 billion people, International Cricket has the potential to enact a fundamental cultural shift, while at the same time, creating new futures for some of the most dispossessed and marginalized children in our world.

 Ed Cowan, opening batsman for the Australian Cricket Team has become a proud supporter of Not For Sale – joining Team NFS. “When I was growing up, I had the opportunity to dream. I was given every opportunity to play, to grow, to choose my own path, my own destiny. And now, I am lucky enough to play cricket for my country. 

 This freedom is unfortunately not a reality for many people around the world – especially for many children. Slavery steals that dream, that opportunity…and I want to partner with Not For Sale to help give it back.”

 Cowan has pledged $1 to Not For Sale for every run he scores this season, with an extra $50 added to the tally for every century he makes. Given his recent success in England, Cowan has already raised over $500 to fight slavery! 

 Cowan has also been busy recruiting other cricketers to join the fight. With Australian teammate George Bailey also signing on as a member of Team NFS. Bailey has matched Cowan’s pledge of $1 per run this season; including any runs he scores in the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka this month- for which he is the Australian Captain.

 Not For Sale’s vision, exemplified in Team NFS, is to create a world where everyone is free to work, all children are free to play, and no one is for sale.

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