450+ Aussie Athletes Unite In Calls For Bolder Climate Action

Nov 12, 2021by Olivia - F&F

Hundreds of Australia’s biggest sporting legends — like David Pocock, Liz Ellis, Mick Fanning, Lance Franklin, plus Cate and Bronte Campbell — have joined The Cool Down initiative to push for bolder climate action to safeguard the future of Australian sport.

‘The Cool Down’ Unites 450+ Athletes From 40+ Sports!

The words ‘climate change’ and ‘sport’ aren’t typically used in a sentence together. That’s why The Cool Down campaign — led by former Wallabies captain, David Pocock — is making headlines in the media for all the right reasons!

In an Australian-first, over 450 athletes from 40 different sports have united to protect the future of the planet and the future of sport. The open letter to our nation’s leaders emphasises the relationship between sport and the climate crisis, and highlights the need to cut emissions to safeguard the sports that we love the most. “Like so many Australians, we’ve experienced the impacts of climate change first hand. But at the moment, if climate action was the Olympics, Australia isn’t winning gold, we don't even qualify,” says the athletes.

Climate Change And SportClimate Change And Sport

How Will Climate Change Impact Our Sports?

So, what does climate change have to do with sport? Well, our Aussie summer is packed with sporting events — like the Big Bash League (BBL) cricket, AFLW games, the Tour Down Under cycling race, the Australian Open tennis, A and W-League football, and of course, local sports in our communities. 

You might be surprised to know that the impact of extreme weather events, rising temperatures, heatwaves, drought, floods, and even bushfire smoke, will worsen the impact on the sports we love as our climate crisis escalates. A report by the Climate Council, estimates that by 2040, heatwaves in Sydney and Melbourne could reach highs of 50°C.

“The climate crisis and Australia’s intensifying extreme weather is threatening the sports and country we love.” 

What Are ‘The Cool Down’ Athletes Calling For?

The Cool Down campaign is calling for courage and leadership from our political leaders to cut our emissions by at least half by 2030, and reach net-zero before 2050. According to the Climate Council, Australian sport is worth $50 billion to the economy and employs over 220,000 people — but the Federal Government’s ‘National Sports Plan’ doesn’t even acknowledge the impact of climate change on future sport. 

“‘Stick to sport, mate?’ Yep, we've heard that one before,” said David Pocock on Twitter. This is the sad reality for many athletes who call for climate action. But now, The Cool Down athletes are stepping up together — “as athletes, we care about our families, communities and the next generation of Aussie kids coming through. We can't stand by. It's time to step up our climate ambition and action”.

Join 450+ Aussie Sporting Legends In The Fight For Climate Action

The Cool Down has attracted some of Australia’s biggest household names: Australian cricket vice-captain, Pat Cummins; Gold medallist swimmer, Libby Trickett; AFL legend, Lance Franklin; surfing legend, Mick Fanning; Netball legend, Liz Ellis; NRL’s Nathan Cleary; Matildas goalkeeper, Teagan Micah; tennis star, Mark Philippoussis; Gold medallist swimming sisters, Cate and Bronte Campbell, and of course, former Wallabies captain, David Pocock. 

It’s also backed by former Socceroos player, Craig Foster and former AFL player, Tony Armstrong — both of whom work extensively on SBS and ABC.

Curious to see whether your favourite athlete is calling for climate action? Find out here at The Cool Down! If you’d like to join these 450+ star athletes, you can sign up to support The Cool Down as an individual, a team, a club/organisation, or a professional athlete.

We’re thrilled to see 450+ Aussie athletes joining together to protect the future of the planet and the future of sport! Despite being a sporting nation, many Australians are completely unaware of the relationship between sport and climate change. 

This is why the conversation led by The Cool Down and its 450+ athletes is so important — it’s successfully reaching people and communties that might otherwise be tuned out to dicsussions about climate change.

Please visit The Cool Down to see which athletes have joined, what they’re calling for, and how you can help!  

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