Meet the Sports Smashing Climate Change Out of the Park!

17th August, 2016


Believe it or not, amid all the celebrations and sporting glory at Rio 2016, there has been a strong showing for climate change...

Kicking off with a film at the opening ceremony (which described the dangers of climate change), Olympic organisers asked millions of viewers to support a campaign to slow global warming. It may not have been the usual fireworks and parading we know and love, but we certainly weren't complaining!

And it's not all talk... they're matching it with some action too. Not only are the cars used within the park electric, sustainable sourced meat and veggie options are being served in the canteen too. Plus, the organisers are planting 11,000 trees for each of the 11,000 athletes competing, so one legacy of the games will be a new forest sucking up plenty of carbon emissions! With all of this going on, it's safe to say the infamous diving pool wasn't the only green thing about Rio...

Considering Brazil contains half of the Amazon rainforest, it's not surprising to hear they've got an environmental slant on things... but they're not the first to get touch on climate change. Back in 2009 when Kaohsiung, Taiwan, hosted the World Games, they decked out the new stadium with solar panels, providing almost all the electricity they needed! Pretty nifty huh?

And football clubs in the UK are stepping up too. In January this year, Storm Desmond hit the country, causing masses of flooding and damage, leaving Carlisle United's pitch under water. Not only did replacing the pitch cost around £150,000, it had quite an impact on other clubs too...

"The sight of Carlisle United's pitch under water and the devastation caused underlines the threat climate change poses on our doorstep", said Tony Scholes, Chief Exec of Stoke City FC. This went on to prompt the club to raise awareness among fans of the need to tackle climate change during their next match.

Bristol FC are also making waves when it comes to the climate change battle. Having installed 460 solar panels and low energy lighting, the club are hoping they'll cut their carbon by 20% straight off the bat (or, ahem, the boot). Plus, seeing their team power their way to victory will get fans thinking about ways they can give climate change the red card themselves!

And the UK's biggest clubs aren't about to be left behind either. In 2015, Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC, became the first stadium to get LED floodlights installed. The super-efficient bulbs save masses of energy, and will only need replacing every ten seasons, compared to every three.

If football isn't quite your thing, basketball is also getting in on the action. Leicester's Community Sports Arena, home of the Leicester Riders, just installed 980 solar panels, and the Nottingham Wildcats installed around 600 panels earlier this year. The panels will cut their energy bills by a few thousand pounds every year, and the club will spend their savings on grassroots basketball projects locally, including training sessions for local primary school.

There are plenty more - from swimming pools in Iceland heating by volcanoes, to a motor racing tournament which uses 100% electric cars, the sporting world is really stepping up to the plate and playing hardball with climate change.


This blog was written by our pals at 10:10 - check them out here.