BASIS - The British Association for Sustainable Sport

‘Sport has the power to instigate change’

Cricketer Joe Cooke reflects on his role in the BBC Sport 2050 project in an exclusive article for BASIS

The BBC’s Sport 2050 feature has done a great job of shining a light on the issue of the climate crisis within sport. Hopefully, not only highlighting how sport will be affected by a changing climate and the need for it to adapt, but also raising the profile and opening more people’s eyes to the problem. In Britain, more erratic weather has been predicted, well, it is happening now! The constant rain the last few weeks has been draining while trying to play cricket and a heat wave is predicted in the coming month. This makes this conversation even more prevalent. Hopefully, people will read the feature and look outside the window to see the problem for themselves.

Being involved was an honour. The BBC travelled to Cardiff to talk to me in April, while side stepping restrictions, we managed to have a great chat covering various topics within sport and environmental issues. As it was one of my first interviews it would be a lie to say I wasn’t nervous. Especially as I felt the pressure to get it right. I wanted to say things that would resonate with people, whilst not being too forceful. As well as trying to be optimistic, the message should be “we have the solutions and can create a sustainable future, if we act as soon as possible”.

Since the feature was released, I have had various conversations about the problem, with friends and family, in other interviews and in the Glamorgan dressing room; with teammates and coaches asking about my thoughts and wanting to find out more, which is great. To see Joe Root, one of the biggest voices in cricket talking about the climate crisis and our sport was so good. The power of this shouldn’t be understated, especially hearing Joe draw on past experiences with extreme weather and how it affected him. Illustrating the scale and importance of this problem.

Hopefully, this type of media coverage continues. It is clear sport has the power to instigate change, lets hope it can instigate action on the climate crisis.

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