Kicking off sustainability

football The last comprehensive survey of grassroots football found that, on average, grassroots clubs lose five weeks every season due to bad weather – with more than a third losing between two and three months. Some 84 per cent of these clubs highlight facilities as the most pressing issue facing the grassroots game. Beyond the grassroots game, extreme

weather events caused the cancellation of 25 Football League fixtures during the 2015/16 season, with Carlisle United’s Brunton Park the most prominent example. The League One side was forced out of its home ground for 49 days by Storm Desmond at a cost of nearly £200,000. In response to the floods of 2015/16, the FA,

the Premier League and Sport England made £750,000 available to support affected clubs. Longer term, the FA will invest £48m in hundreds of new all-weather and specially adapted turf pitches across the country, including new dedicated facilities in 30 cities, in addition to upgrading more than 200 existing pitches nationwide.

Founded in 1966, Bromley Heath United

Football Club is the oldest junior football club in Bristol with over 350 young footballers playing at their home ground. The club is a feeder for academies affiliated to professional football clubs including Bristol City and Southampton. The 2015-16 season was particularly bad for

the club with matches called off for 12 weeks due to unsatisfactory playing conditions. “Over the course of the winter there were so

many matches called off because the pitches were unplayable that we saw a massive impact on the revenue we were able to earn from the bar and food facilities we usually supply. During that period alone we lost £15,000 in revenue,” says club chairman Jamie Andrews-Britton.

cricket Of all the major pitch sports, cricket will be hardest hit by climate change. The sport is defined almost entirely by the climatic conditions and if they change, so does the essence of the game. Wetter winters and more intense summer

Manchester City’s City Football Academy has won a Gold Standard award from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for its environmental performance in transforming over 30 hectares of post- industrial land. Once toxic land, the site now has extensive wildflower meadows, grasses and wetland as well as 2,000 trees to provide a home for a variety of wildlife.

Each hectare of the academy’s turfgrass absorbs 6.5-8.5 tonnes of CO2. Recycling and reuse means zero waste is sent to landfill, while 80-100 per cent of the club’s irrigation water is gathered onsite through harvesting and storage.

downpours are disrupting the game at every level. According to Dan Musson, the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) national participation manager, “there is clear evidence that climate change has had a huge impact on the game in the form of general wet weather and extreme weather events.” In international cricket, 27 per cent of

England’s home One Day Internationals since 2000 have been played with reduced overs because of rain disruptions. Of these, 62 per cent have used DLS (the mathematical

Grassroots football clubs lose an average of five weeks every season to bad weather 15

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