Sustainable football in the Amazon

adidas and Common Goal team up for an environmental project in Colombia 

The global activation of Move For The Planet, a campaign from adidas and Common Goal, in partnership with Fundación Tiempo de Juego, a football for good organisation, is supporting a multidisciplinary and environmentally focused project in Caquetá, Colombia.  

In the Amazonian region of Caquetá, residents' work opportunities are often connected to activities that damage their ecosystem. Not only this, the municipality of Florencia in Caquetá faces another major problem that obstructs the growth of the sport in the area and the preservation of the environment: plastic waste.  

Due to the repeated and painful loss of endemic tree species, as well as practices and resources such as single-use plastics that damage the Amazon, the project will develop a plan with two core actions to mitigate the environmental problems that most affect the area.  

Turning recycled materials into sports infrastructure: 

The project focuses on the collection and recycling of plastic waste as an essential part of the construction of the planned infrastructure will come from recycled plastic bottles.   

This space includes a spectator’s stand, new pots for the development of urban farming and the remodelling of the sports field to reconfigure places for children to play and grow through football. This also involves planting endemic trees to participate in the restoration of a damaged environment. 

Education on environmental sustainability and sports: 

For a long-lasting change and positive impact beyond the lifespan of the project, the programme ensures education on sustainability through the training of at least 15 young community members in reforestation, forest care and recycling techniques.   

There will be sports sessions focusing on environmental awareness and protection for 200 children and young people using the Football3 methodology which is born out of dialogue and fairplay. Those sessions uplift the goal of sharing and uniting through football for the planet.   

“As long as football exists, there is hope,” said Andrés Wiesner, founder and president of Tiempo de Juego. 

In 2024, they are currently working on constructing seating areas on the football pitch in Florencia, Caquetá. Involving site visits, local teacher integration, groundwork, and wall construction.  

Fundación Tiempo de Juego adapted the Football3 methodology to incorporate environmental consciousness for children. The work with youth leaders has also commenced, and adult local leaders have been invited to engage in the project.  Furthermore, they have initiated leadership programs, collaborating with Fondo Acción to develop ‘Ecogames’ - a virtual platform connecting sports and environmental education, with plans to expand to 30 games in 2024, supported by Move For The Planet. 

“We played a game resembling a snake where we had to pass a ball without knocking over cones, symbolizing trees,” said Laura García, a programme participant.  

“These ‘Ecogames’ taught us to protect nature and educate others. Additionally, our outdoor activities, like tree planting, not only taught us about the environment but also offered enjoyable experiences and very tasty food,” added the 13-year-old participant.