Since its formation in 2018, British nonprofit Champions For Earth has set out to empower athletes’ voices and harnessed the power of sport, to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. Unlike many athlete-led environmental groups, Champions For Earth has focused its activities to date on getting mainstream media outlets to publish climate-action-themed letters.
“We’ve published letters in The Guardian and the Financial Times highlighting the climate crisis,” shared Melissa Wilson, a member of the Champions For Earth management team, an Olympic rowing hopeful and an EcoAthletes Champion. “The second one included 19 international-level signatories across a variety of sports. We are looking to build on that momentum in the coming weeks, by supporting a Green recovery from the COVID pandemic.”
A new partnership with EcoAthletes should also help Champions For Earth — whose leadership team also includes former British national team rower Dave Hampton, Lewes F.C. star Katie Rood, and Olympic gold medal-winning kayaker Etienne Stott — build that momentum.
“Each of the Champions For Earth athletes have experienced what can be achieved by individuals coming together in a team — creating something that is greater than the sum of its parts,” Wilson noted. “Climate change is the issue, more than any other, that needs that kind of collaboration – because it affects every single one of us. Discovering another organization that was also tapping into the potential of athletes to drive change in this area was hugely exciting. And EcoAthletes’ drive towards climate education is a really great way to help more athletes feel comfortable about speaking on climate.”
To EcoAthletes founder Lew Blaustein, Champions For Earth brings two key ingredients to the #ClimateComeback: Passion and media engagement.
“Consistent passion over time is necessary to have a chance to win in the climate fight and there is no doubt that Champions For Earth’s athletes have that quality,” said Blaustein. “And using the megaphones provided by respected mass media outlets like The Guardian and Financial Times allows Champions For Earth to bring their climate messaging to new and wider audiences. EcoAthletes looks forward to working with them to reach and educate more athletes and to help further expand their influence.”