While on the podium, Anton Klischewski, Young Delegate within the working group Sustainable Development at ENGSO Youth, shared his views on how Sport for All can tackle the Climate Crisis.
The questions of the moderator circulated around the theme of ‘Sport for All’, as a key pillar of society, and if it has the potential to really change something. Anton sees sports as an ideal ground to tackle the Climate Crisis and society mindset due to the fact that it can operate outside of a bubble. In his grassroots sports organisation alone, there are people aged from 5 to almost 80, with 70 nationalities being represented from various backgrounds. Non-formal sustainability education in and through sports could reach a target group with a playful approach, asking and discussing questions democratically such as:
For this, Anton claims that sporting organisations are in need of support from environmental NGOs, sporting federations or local politicians in order to really leverage the potential. Currently, voluntary staff across sports still suffers from the aftermath of the Covid pandemic and cannot solve these challenges on its own.
In the course of the discussion, Anton was asked if the young generation shows higher concern for the climate crisis, sometimes even leading to eco-anxiety. Although he agrees to the fact being true, he is convinced that it would be unfair to put the emphasis only on the younger generation, as the older generation often withhold positions of power in politics (58 % of the eligible voters in Germany are 50 or older) as well as in business and are the ones with the largest leverage. The same applies to both professional and non-professional sporting organisations, where sustainability managers are almost never part of upper management. Anne-Kathrin Laufmann, board member and director of sustainability of the German Bundesliga club Werder Bremen, marks one of the exceptions.
Anton concluded the session with some motivational words of how to make a difference as an individual and not feeling powerless while being faced with an immense challenge such as climate change. Within three years, he not only co-created the first working group sustainability within his own sports organisation, but also led them in a team to become the first sustainability-certified non professional club across Germany. After turning the voluntary position into a paid one and contributing even more time to advance actions and strategy across the club, they won the most important grassroots sports prize in Germany this year and handed the German president a club jersey with the ‘number’ 1,5 degrees (reference to the rise of global temperature compared to pre-industrial times). In sum, this example showcases the creation of opportunities for youth which opens the door for intergenerational dialogue and mutual acceptance.
Information on the Plenary Session and the Speakers: https://www.tafisacongress-duesseldorf2023.com/sessions/plenary-2
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