1994, 28 years ago, we designed this Eco-Tennis Concept with my team, uniting concepts of tennis and ecology to pay attention on a day-to-day basis when you play in your club, academy or tennis venue. Supported by the Fundación Educación Ecologica, the Argentine Tennis Association and Prince, the strategy was called “Get the ball moving to save the planet”. Each poster and brochure was distributed in clubs, tennis businesses and organizations. Its function, to create awareness about these issues to take care of our environment, our planet. (Old picture here)
As we know sports have a great social impact. Tennis it is. They are channels of connection, belonging and relationship with and between people. However, I think that looking at the bigger picture is not done enough with the possibilities to impact large masses of people. If Tennis organizations make it a priority to make changes happen, this works. Changes, as we have seen in other sports, begin to happen if you do actions focused on that. In tennis, the fair fight of many female leaders to have the same prizes as men has had positive results in equality in most cases. So why can’t we do the same with sustainability?
As I have commented in my previous article, the future future is being dictated by a focus on ESG –environmental, social and governance issues. Tennis is not an exception.
If we look at other industries, in tennis the impact of supply chain and sustainability issues is less widely-known. We do not have diffusion, regulations to establish that in competitions of all kinds, manufacturers, suppliers and all those who belong to the development chain of our sport find proposals and solutions to achieve the objectives in sustainability and meeting ESG goals.
We can see for example in the clothing industry how more and more suppliers have to use actions and certifications that are in accordance with climate change, inclusivity and diversity in many facets of production.
What can we do in your space?
A lot from starting with small details to growing the level of knowledge that everyone has about protecting our planet. Here are 10 recommendations out of many possible:
1. Introduce an environmental protection policy in your club/academy with incentives to recycle elements and take care of the spaces.
2. Generate a change of the lights of the courts with a joint project among all, to change the electric lights for LED lights and solar panels. (Ladera Ranch Tennis Club USA, example. I took this photo one month ago).
3. Recycle tennis balls and rackets. Have rackets that can be used for beginners or people just starting out so they don’t buy directly at first, but do so later.
4. Take care of the water. Propose information for your tennis players on how to take care when bathing and also how to take care of the tennis courts.
5. Provide educational information about not having plastic bottles that are not made from recycled material.
6. Use brands of balls whose plastic containers are made from recycled materials. There are several brands that already have the certification of recycled material in their information.
7. Organize tournaments or competitive events that spread the care of the planet, promoting knowledge and sparking actions in this regard.
8. Buy tennis clothes made from recycled materials, for example there are already tennis brands making clothes in this way.
9. Purchase tennis shoes, glasses or other items you wear that are made largely from recyclable materials. There are already several brands that produce tennis shoes with a percentage of recyclable materials.
10. Join the movement that with small details and more knowledge, we take care of the planet from our sport.
We can do much more than what we are doing. From the strategic vision of our sport, as in what is related to us on a day-to-day basis in each court and tennis club. The issue is definitely to take responsibility for what we can do right now.
As in 1994, another small, very small contribution to continue building through our beloved sport. Remember, your life is a story made up of events, circumstances, experiences, and emotions. Make your difference!
Best Eco-Tennis project for you!!
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