What's up: Sustainability in sport: What can we do?
2019 was the year of climate discussions. Millions of pupils, students and young people demonstrated and underlined the need of actions against the climate change and for a sustainable way of life. The whole world watched at these actions. In addition the United Nations, the European Union and other political players estimated plans and calls of action to stop the current development. But what is our role? What type of changes can we do to promote a sustainable lifestyle? How must we change our sport events regarding sustainability?
Moritz Belmann from Germany shares his thoughts about sustainability for this edition of the student column:
In my point of view, it’s important to understand that sustainability and the climate discussion are different fields. Sustainability connects different parts of our life. Our travels, our daily behaviour, our communication can be sustainable or not.
In the EUSA Volunteer programme, students from whole Europe can experience European University Championships or the EUSA-Games and get involved into university sport. This is part of sustainability. With this program we spread our idea of university sport, norms and values across the continent. The volunteers can influence other students with our mentality and a sportive lifestyle.
Nevertheless we should think about next steps. On my point of view, we should start to think about sustainable competitions, too. How can we take care of our environment? How can we deepen the connection between the teams and students? How can we increase the intercultural exchange? These are interesting and exciting questions. I believe that the EUSA-family will find answers for this.
Of course we should think about our environment footprint, as well. Travels by plane, amounts of food and the whole infrastructure during EUSA-Events are big challenges in these fields. Of course we can’t expect that athletes or delegations will travel by train, but we should think about the local transfer and possibilities to equalize the emissions. In addition our EUSA-meetings should become more sustainable, too. In November, the University Hamburg organized the first sustainable general assembly of the German University Sport Federation. The organizing committee took a look at the amount of food, vegetarian and regional products and the minimum of local transfer. This type of meeting might be an example for us.
In 2020 the debate about sustainability will continue and we all must think about this topic. We, the university sport, are important role models for other parts of the society. We share norms and values. We connect young people from whole Europe. We organize international sport events. We enable students to share their experiences. For these reasons we should be in the front row to live a sustainable lifestyle. Let’s do this together!
The author Moritz Belmann is a member of the EUSA Student as well as Media & Communication Commissions; studied media development at the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt and sport journalism and sport marketing at the University of Applied Sciences Mittweida.
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