News article

Sustainability in focus at SportAccord 2024

April 11 2024

The 2024 SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit has been taking place this week in the UK city of Birmingham, welcoming international sports federations, organisers of events, and more. 

Sustainability in focus at SportAccord 2024

Among the topics up for discussion were all areas of sustainability.

International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) President Peter Muir has said the organisation has been making progress across all three of its priority pillars: safety, sustainability and sport.

The federation established its Climate Change Taskforce in 2022 and has since ramped up efforts in sustainability.

Physical wellbeing and mental health are equally as important, and Dr William Wynter Bee told The Daily, SportAccord’s official newspaper, that sport should place mental and physical health support on equal footing.

Wynter Bee said: “The mind affects the body, and the body affects the mind. We know that.”

At the HealthAccord event, Scottish national champion swimmer Gregor Swinney reiterated the need for mental health support in sport, and called on authorities to install safe space rooms for athletes. He discussed his own struggles with poor mental health.

Elsewhere at the event, Sport England Chair Chris Boardman has been connecting with fellow attendees to continue the discussion around active travel.

Boardman, who won an Olympic cycling gold medal for Great Britain at the 1992 Games in Barcelona, was appointed as Greater Manchester’s first-ever Cycling and Walking Commissioner in July 2017 by Mayor Andy Burnham.

In this role, he developed a plan to create 1,800 miles of protected walking and cycling roles in the UK city, and hoped to spread the message on the benefits of this at SportAccord this week.

The conference has also highlighted the importance of sustainability to many, with SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit 2024 Gold Partner, Sport Event Denmark, gauging the focus from federations.

Delegates across the global landscape marked their sustainability focus out of 10, with an average score of roughly 8/10. The wide range of responses spanned from 3/10 to 10/10.

Major focuses have been placed on gender equality, while other key pillars such as climate action, and responsible consumption and production, have placed among the top goals.

Image: Riccardo

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