Launched in 2020, grown to 30 clubs in 2021 and continuing in the 2022 season in NSW, more clubs have joined for the 3rd year, taking player engagement to over 20,000.
The Program piloted at Northbridge FC in 2020 follows a Federal Government grant aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of local sport community clubs, introducing sustainable practices, inspiring youth to have a voice for change and recycling sports gear to give it a second life in rural areas ravaged by fire and floods.
50 Youth Ambassadors have already signed up for the program and growing!
The Sustainable Sports Program (SSP) is a local club initiative created by two soccer mums Linda Curtis and Liz Courtney, who saw a need and an opportunity to put passion and purpose together at a grass roots level. They hope all local grassroots sports clubs will adopt this initiative in 2021 to help broaden community engagement and education around sustainable practices, led by youth and their families.
The SSP carries positive messages of action and education based on a series of activities and initiatives which combine to create greater awareness of behavioural choices we can all make in our community. It provides youth with the chance to lead and engage in their future world, whilst making a positive impact on reducing their local sports club’s carbon footprint.
Retired Federal Member for North Sydney Trent Zimmerman MP says, “I am really pleased we have been able to provide federal funding for this program. Liz and Linda’s work on creating the SSP, including the Youth Ambassador program is so important in promoting sustainable and environmental practices in our community. Community sport is such an integral part of our community and to see the NSFA embrace the Sustainable Sports Program with enthusiasm is a sign that sustainable habits are the way of the future.”
The SSP also includes:
- A Sustainable Canteen Audit program, through the creation of a new web-based app designed to help create a green canteen over the next 3 years.
- Drive to use Keep Cups, bring sustainable water bottles and install a Water Refill station for all players and spectators;
- Introduction of 3-Tier Waste Management Recycling Bins will allow for a higher degree of recycling of plastics, glass, and food wastes; and two annual environmentally focussed events.
- The Recycle and Replant for Goodness Weekend to donate sports clothes and football boots to rural towns in Australia which have been hit by fires, droughts and floods as well as indigenous country sports programs around mental health. A Bush and/or Beach Environmental Clean-up also engages youth to connect with issues around the impact of littering plastics on marine and native bush environments.
“This initiative resonates with so many local community sports clubs who are trying to develop more sustainable, behavioural changes and inspire our youth to have a say in their future. So far, we have managed to recycle soccer gear across regional NSW south and West to support farming communities in need.” said founders Liz Courtney and Linda Curtis, commenting on the Program.
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