Climate Champions Community
A pathway for footballers to drive climate action
Shifting society towards a more sustainable future for all requires empowered individuals, commitment, strong choices, and a collaborative path. For professional players eager to help drive climate action, Football For Future and Common Goal have teamed up to develop a tailored Climate Champions programme.
The Climate Champions are going on a journey filled with continued development from climate-curious individuals, to informed activists, through a series of workshops and trainings around climate awareness and action.
The team of Climate Champions include:
- Bart Vriends (Sparta Rotterdam)
- Elin Landström (As Roma)
- Jane Ross (Rangers FC)
- Jessie Fleming (Chelsea FC)
- Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal FC)
- Maël Corboz (SC Verl)
- Sofie Junge Pedersen (Juventus FC)
- Tessel Middag (Rangers FC)
Following the first climate change crash course focused on the interrelationship between football and climate change, champions were invited to brainstorm on potential climate action projects and collectively discuss impact opportunities. Over 20 concrete action plans have been explored and all players have expressed an improved or strong understanding of the ways to engage in climate action for a footballer.
"It has been a really great and unique experience being part of a community of professional players who care about the climate and want to use their platforms to raise awareness of this issue," said Tessel Middag.
"It’s been inspiring sharing ideas and feeling like you’re not on your own in tackling this. Social change is a team game, just like football!"
Building a community of climate-conscious champions, collaborating within and beyond the sessions, is a strong objective of the programme to reach collective success and maximise each individual impact. Every climate champion has strongly agreed that football has a responsibility to tackle climate change.
During the second phase of the programme, champions receive support with monthly community check-ins where Football For Future and the players link up to enable the Climate Champions to take on their own climate action projects. Topics like influencing and engaging their network, communicating on climate change with traditional media and on social networks, creating a legacy, and funding actions are discussed during these check-ins. These sessions aim to reinforce collaboration within the community, bring confidence to the players to publicly advocate for climate action, and provide players with tools to work with their unique networks to drive and influence sustainable change.
As the first cohort of players is going through this unique programme, feedback indicates a huge success in terms of capacity building and commitment. All players left the workshops feeling confident to begin taking climate action. And the Climate Champions are showing a strong willingness to engage with sustainability in their personal and professional lives and empower their networks to take part.
“It's been an inspiring experience not only partnering with Common Goal on our Climate Champions community but also being able to work with so many climate-conscious players in one place,” said Elliot Arthur-Worsop, founder of Football For Future.
“The conversations have been enlightening and it is a privilege to explore this journey together as we collectively strive to learn more and drive climate impact. I have a really special feeling that this is the start of something quite big."