Reduce / Reuse / Recycle

April 23, 2004


Used Tennis Balls Help Reduce Classroom Noise

Keywords: Education NGO / Citizen Reduce / Reuse / Recycle 

The Global Sports Alliance (GSA), a Japanese non-profit organization which promotes the creation of a sustainable society among sports fans worldwide, has a sports equipment recycling project that matches up offers of used tennis balls to schools around Japan. The total number of tennis balls offered for re-use is expected to reach one million in the spring of 2004.

It is costly to dispose of used sports equipment such as balls, bats and rackets, as disposing these items can have a serious impact on the environment. Most of the approximately 30 million tennis balls used in Japan annually are thrown away.

At schools, used tennis balls are cut open with an X-shaped incision and attached to the legs of desks and chairs to reduce noise when the furniture is moved. This helps the children concentrate more on their studies and communicate more easily. This contributes to society in two ways: by reducing environmental impacts by re-using sports equipment, and improving the learning environment in the classroom.

Since the project started in February 2000, 308 organizations have participated, including tennis associations, federations and clubs as well as school tennis clubs and companies. The GSA initially started by donating used tennis balls to elementary schools for hearing-challenged children. Today, demand for used balls from elementary and junior high schools nationwide is such that the GSA has so far donated used balls to 566 schools across the country.

The GSA, a network supported by sports fans worldwide, aims to contribute to creating sports cultures that coexist with the global environment and to establishing a recycling-based society. Its board of directors includes the professional golfer Isao Aoki and the professional tennis player Shuzo Matsuoka.

Posted: 2004/04/23 11:48:04 AM
Japanese version