Far from just tinkering with the scenery, club SEA-changers are shaking up their world view.
The Sports Environment Alliance (SEA) is empowering Australian and New Zealand sport to do more for the world by using less, and they’ve got some big names backing the move.
Tennis Australia, Football Federation Australia, Richmond Football Club and the MCG are among those taking the message of sustainability to the pitches and courts.
But for every national organisation and iconic brand on board, you’ll find the likes of the Swamp Rats Cricket Club (SCC) - a small, rural outfit based on the WA south coast.
Swamp Rats spokesperson Stephen Grimmer told SEA: “Regardless of size, all sports clubs and related entities have a role to play.
“Despite our club’s small size, we will assure our facilities and competitions are sustainable and are available to the lifestyle choices of future generations.
“The SCC will focus on improving our recycling practices at our iconic oval and club rooms, educating club and community members, and ensuring we promote the importance of sustainability across the sports sector in WA.”
SEA is a supporter of #Clubbies2020.
Executive director Dr Sheila Nguyen has praised the “bold ambition” of small clubs like Swamp Rats. She said while members of the alliance sign up to a universal set of principles set out under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), but it’s not about badgering clubs into change.
“We don’t say you’re not doing enough, we don’t shame them,” Dr Nguyen says. “I don’t find that’s a good use of energy. We encourage them.
“For any issue, not just ours, whether it is accessibility or gender equity, it takes time. (Community) clubs are run primarily by volunteers – people who are passionate about the sport whether it be parents or ex-players. So they are time poor and this topic in particular is quite technical to some extent.
“So I’d say some clubs who are very supportive, whether that’s because someone has a professional link to this area or local councils are quite leading in this space and they will finance and support local initiatives. Otherwise clubs are not that well prepared but that’s not unique to community clubs that’s across sport as a whole.”