Only last July, we ordered crates and crates of bottled water for the 2018 South West Youth Games finals and thought very little of it. writes CEO Chris Broadbent. Hundreds of single-use plastic for one day and then discarded. Six months on and it is something we - as an organisation - will never contemplate again.
We surveyed our participants after last year's events and found that the environment is an issue they cared deeply about. Our charity, like many of our participants and their parents, is also on a journey of enlightenment and a stronger sense of responsibility to environmental sustainability.
The link between the environment and children's health and wellbeing is obvious. How can we expect young people now - and in the future - to engage more often in physical activity if we don't provide a cleaner, safer and sustainable environment?
Now is the time for New Year's Resolutions. So, as we evolve the South West Youth Games to the Planet Earth Games (Exeter, 5-7 July), we are committing to:
- zero usage of avoidable single use oil-based plastics
- leaving no trace by achieving zero waste
- usage of recycled materials wherever possible
- being at the forefront of sustainability in sport in the UK
Sport can be a powerful force for good and we take our position of influence seriously. We are committed to making a leap forward in sustainability and will continue to make more strides forward in the future. We hope others will join us and make similar changes for a better future.