Start for Sports for Future
With the insistent appeal for the preservation of our livelihoods Sports For Future enters the public eye to engage in the climate debate with a prominent and relevant voice. This alliance of athletes, clubs, associations and other supporters takes a clear position and faces up to the responsibility that sport must play as one of society’s most important pillars, especially because sport itself contributes to the climate crisis.
The idea, born on the initiative of the Bundesliga soccer club TSG Hoffenheim, is launched and implemented by a network from within the world of sports. The initiators include Bundesliga club SV Werder Bremen, second division soccer club VfL Osnabrück, German sports youth (dsj), Global United FC eV, Fabian Hambüchen (gymnastics), Anni Friesinger (speed skating), Holger Nikelis (wheelchair table tennis), Sebastian Polter (football), Jacqueline Otchere (pole vault), Lutz Pfannenstiel (football) and the TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
“Sport has so far had no vocal voice in matters of sustainability and the climate crisis and how we want to meet it as a society. We too are not free from contradictions. That is precisely why we want to be proactive in our responsibility, “says Dr. Peter Görlich, Managing Director of TSG Hoffenheim. His partner in the management, Frank Briel, adds: “We invite athletes, teams, clubs, associations and other interested parties to support this movement in order to bring sports into play in this world-moving topic.”
Dr. Hubertus Hess-Grunewald, President and Managing Director of SV Werder Bremen, clarifies: “We want to give the future a voice. SV Werder Bremen has been committed to assuming social responsibility for many years. Being part of Sports For Future in these times is in line with our values and our self-image. “
One of the main goals of our work is to enable children and young people to participate in society. The effects of climate change will affect today’s youth even more than the generations before. This is why the participation of dsj in this broad and strong alliance of sport associations is self-evident and important. Thereby, we enable young people within and through sports a strong voice for the upcoming global challenges. “says Benjamin Folkmann, 2ndChairman of the German Sports Youth (dsj).
“As gymnasts we regularly fight against the physical laws of nature. We know that there are no compromises. If we are not prepared enough or make a mistake, we fail. The same applies to the climate crisis. We cannot outsmart nature and need a precise plan on how to meet these challenges, “says Fabian Hambüchen, Olympic champion and world champion on the horizontal bar.
“VfL Osnabrück is co-initiator of Sports For Future. As a traditional member association, we support a living democracy and participation, objectification instead of polemization and polarization. Far away from party political thought patterns. Based on scientific research and development. With Sports For Future, we give climate protection another loud voice. In our unique stadium at the “Bremer Brücke” but also far beyond, “says Jürgen Wehlend, Managing Director of VfL Osnabrück.
Holger Nikelis, two-time Paralympic winner in wheelchair table tennis: “My accident has taught me what it’s like to lose something irretrievably. Regarding the climate crisis, we still have the chance to act. We should do that – before there is no going back. “
Sports For Future as a movement of an entire industry will operate as a registered non-profit association whose agenda is clearly outlined. “We want to gather sports, criticize and challenge its organizations and join forces to take a clear position. We advocate a rational, science-based implementation of the Paris Agreement, a liveable future for young people and future generations, a fair, respectful culture of debate, solidarity and a social team spirit,” explains Stefan Wagner, co-founder of Sports For Future eV (iG).
On this basis, Sports For Future has the task of launching its own campaigns, promoting projects, increasing know-how and strengthening sustainability, climate protection and democracy. For this purpose, the alliance builds on co-operations with, among others, the Cologne Business School, the Klima Arena in Sinsheim and other educational institutions.