BBC launches first Green Sport Awards to celebrate sustainability

Sport is not immune to climate change - Leigh

The BBC has launched its first Green Sport Awards - to celebrate those people in sport helping to contribute to a more sustainable future.

BBC winter sports commentator and presenter Ed Leigh has been outspoken on the threat snowsport faces - saying it is "at the sharp end" of climate change with the impact on shortened winter seasons.

Leigh believes the Green Sport Awards will help "incentivise" those already "working at the vanguard of climate change in sport", as well as encourage other athletes, clubs and organisations to join in.

"If you have something like the BBC Green Sport Awards, the logic behind them is that you raise awareness," he said.

"It's the old adage - and this is used in sport a lot - 'if you can't see it, you can't be it'.

"If you drill down into climate change day after day it can be utterly overwhelming. It is imperative that we celebrate the successes, because you can't have endless doom and gloom.

"You need to see the positives and see what we're achieving and that's exactly what the Green Sport Awards have been created for."

Leigh says the connection between sport and climate change is "simple", in that sustainability "affects every aspect of our lives".

"The way that you choose to go to a football match, the way that you travel to go to netball, table tennis, Jiu-Jitsu... every decision you make in your life is affecting climate change and therefore sport is not immune to that.

"Sport is a part of the climate discussion and therefore we need to be involved and we need to be proactive."

The Green Sport Awards are part of the BBC's commitment to a greener future and are designed to use the power and passion of sport for a positive effect.

Partnering with Sport Positive Summit, the awards will celebrate individuals and organisations from across the globe who are actively contributing to a more sustainable future through their sporting profile and practises.

The BBC Green Sport Awards 2022 have five categories - which you can read more about here. They are:

  • Teamwork Award
  • Ambition & Impact Award
  • Evergreen Athlete 2022
  • Athlete of the Year
  • Young Athlete of the Year

Nominations for two of the awards are open now and close at 12:00 BST on 31 July 2022.

All winners will be announced on the BBC Sport Website on 4 October and featured in a special BBC Green Sport Awards 2022 programme.

In November 2021, BBC Sport joined the United Nations' Sports for Climate Action 'Race to Zero' with a commitment to:

  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030
  • Achieve net-zero by 2040
  • Submit annual progress reports to the UN