Pitstops Project: Playing Fair & Changing Lives Through Rugby



You might have heard of the School of Hard Knocks, well there’s a similar project in Glasgow run by the city’s ng homes in association with SoHK called the Pitstops Project. Both these projects help women and men who’ve faced being homeless and or unemployed and need a bit of a push to get their lives back on track and be who they want to be.

We are so pleased that the project chose to use our Fairtrade rugby balls as their ball of choice.

Just as Bala Sport aims to change the lives of the workers who make our rugby balls in India (and our footballs and futsal balls in Pakistan) through Fairtrade, Pitstops aims to change the lives of it’s participants through teaching them rugby (and other more academic and life skills related stuff) in the classroom.


And it works. Margaret has now graduated. She was initially sceptical about the project but ended up loving it. Click the pic below to hear Margaret.Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 18.04.45

Once the participants are ready they play matches with supportive local clubs, and have mentors from the sport like Glasgow Warriors player, Rory Hughs who give up their time to help the players develop.


It was great to meet Rory with the ladies at the Pitstops session and see what a real rapport he had with them and how they were learning from him. It was also good to hear the “Rozza” likes the balls (hear his comments in the full video by clicking the link at the bottom of this post).

Rory Hughes spins Bala Sport Fairtrade Rugby Ball

Greg Cann from ng homes manages the Pitstops Project. “We work with a lot of people with very low self confidence, people who lack self belief and people who just need a bit of structure or routine, and they just need a bit of a prod to get back into the decisions they want to make, something positive” says Greg.

Screen ShotPitstops Project Greg Cann with Bala Sport Fairtrade Rugby Ball

“We use rugby because it’s about team work, it’s about responsibility, controlled aggression, discipline really helps as well, and we use all that 3 days a week for the 8 week programs, teaching them new skills, learning some personal development stuff alongside modules in employability work. It all culminates in the end game and they get 2 or 3 qualifications.

“The graduation will see them finish off the first stage of their journey. After that it’s up to them, some will go on to college and some into work. There’s a whole host of positivity to come out of this project.”

Greg Cann.

Tony was one of the participants in Cohort 7, he’d never played rugby before but was buzzing with energy and enthusiasm for the project after his end of project game against a local rugby club. Click on the photo below to watch a short clip of Tony on how Pitstops has helped him. (Sorry about the crazy exposure issues in the clip).

Tony Pitstops Participant


Watch the full Pitstops Cohort 6 video by clicking here.

Check out the Pitstops Project on the Facebook: @pitstopsglasgow. Follow Pitstops on twitter: @NgSportsLegacy.


We really enjoy going along to the Pitstops matches and seeing how the participants’ hard work and determination and their new skills really do boost their self confidence and help them get to where they want to be in life. And they’re doing this while playing with Fairtrade balls!