World class rowers must bring heaping helpings of tenacity, resilience and focus to help them overcome the ever-present bouts of suffering and fatigue to eventually get a winning result.
Dave Hampton, who was a member of the British national team back in the 80s, has brought those qualities — and more — to the climate change fight for the past two decades. First as The Carbon Coach — he helped prominent, influential people “reduce their carbon footprints in the hope this would seep to their fans” — and, since 2017, as co-founder of Champions for Earth, now an EcoAthletes Champion.
C4E is a group of mostly British athletes who speak out about the seriousness and urgency of the climate and ecological emergency faced by civilization. The organization draws on “sporting qualities of dreaming big, making sacrifices, pushing beyond perceived limits, and rising to the occasion” to help push for climate action at all levels now and over the long haul.
Champions For Earth has published high-profile OpEds and open letters over the last three years, and the number of Olympian signatories has skyrocketed. Their first missive, which pushed for a ban on fracking, was published in the Financial Times with three signers. Next, 19 Olympians signed on to a letter which ran in The Guardian that supported the Greta Thunberg-led school strikes.
But these were mere appetizers to the main course: The team recently obtained the signatures of 310 British Olympians and Paralympians on an open letter that was sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, urging him to take the lead on a “Green Recovery” plan after COVID-19. Signatories included Sir Mo Farah, legendary Gold Medal winner of the 5,000m and 10,000m at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, Susie Rodgers MBE, Paralympic Gold Medalist in swimming at Rio 2016, and Hannah Cockroft MBE, five-time Paralympic Gold Medalist in track and field at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
But these are only beginnings. Hampton is committed to, working alongside his C4E leadership team, to take “the long road towards climate justice.”
That is why we are excited to welcome Dave Hampton as the second EcoAthletes Champion from the C4E leadership team — current British Olympic team rower Melissa Wilson preceded him.
“You would think that, after fighting the climate change fight for more than two decades, Dave Hampton might have become cynical or jaded,” offered EcoAthletes founder Lew Blaustein. “But the opposite is the case. And despite Dave’s protestations to the contrary — ‘I last competed for Great Britain in 1982, Lew!’ — his unique combination of experience and youthful exuberance are why we want ‘The Carbon Coach’ on our Champions roster.”
For Hampton’s part, he looks forward to working with his fellow EcoAthletes Champions to push the #ClimateComeback NOW!
“I am glad to be part of EcoAthletes’ global team whose aim is to accelerate the fight to avert the climate crisis that currently faces all life on earth,” Hampton said. “This is no small ambition. I look forward to collaborating with EcoAthletes to win the result of a fair, just, 100 percent zero carbon and ecologically restored world by the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics. Let’s get to work!”
Photo at top: Dave Hampton, the fourth rower from the right, in the 1982 World Championships at Lucern, Switzerland (Photo credit: Dave Hampton)
You can follow Dave Hampton on Twitter: @carboncoach