The Game columnist NG talks to Stefan Wagner about how Sports For Future is changing the game, an initiative that is bringing sport together to face the challenges presented by climate crisis.
How did you come up with the idea to found Sports For Future and how has the initiative developed since then?
In 2019, with the development of Fridays For Future, we had asked ourselves where sport actually stood in relation to the climate crisis. We were of the opinion that there was still a bit of room for improvement – to put it diplomatically. Then a lot of other groups formed, but not sport. This seemed so absurd to us that “Sports For Future” suddenly became obvious. We started with initiators such as TSG Hoffenheim, Werder Bremen, VfL Osnabrück, Deutsche Sportjugend, Global United FC and individual athletes, and today we have more than 300 supporters: from the DFB and Waldhof Mannheim to Grün-Weiß Mühlen, Boris Herrmann, Olympic rower Carlotta Nwajide, national teams and many more, who together represent more than 23 million athletes.
What were the initial goals you set when you founded the company and what have you achieved so far?
We want to act on three levels. First of all, we want to gather “sport” to support compliance with the Paris Climate Agreement as a social entity – and to do so in a science-based way and not with ‘fingers crossed’. Secondly, we want to create impact in sport. Thirdly, we want to use sport as a platform to raise awareness about the climate crisis. For example, we have created a workbook for sustainable sporting events and launched a major reforestation project in the Global South through the Sports4Trees campaign.
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