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The climate crisis and grassroots sports

December 07 2023 - News Release News Editorial

A report has shown that extreme weather associated with climate change is severely affecting sports at amateur and grassroots level.

The climate crisis and grassroots sports

The report was published by the British Association of Sustainable Sport, which said rain-affected facilities were becoming a fixture of amateur sport in the UK, with ground staff struggling with cancellations and rescheduling. 

According to an article from the BBC, nearly two-thirds of those who play or watch golf have experienced extreme weather in the past year, while conditions such as flooding have also affected roughly 40% of football players and spectators. 

The report surveyed 2,006 people overall, with participants asked whether they had watched or participated in grassroots sport during the past 12 months. Of the 1,059 that had taken part in golf, football or cricket, 48% said they had been affected by bad weather associated with climate change. 

Of the golfers and golf spectators polled, 64% said they had encountered disruption to the sport such as rescheduling, reduction in length of matches or cancellation. 

And in cricket, the figure was reported to be 60%. England Women cricket player Tammy Beaumont told the BBC: “Beyond just the loss of missed games in the immediate term, we’re risking longer-term impacts on sport too. The more games are called off, the more likely it is that players will lose interest in playing the sport.

“If the cricket season is spent mainly watching it rain or playing on dry, poor wickets, players may leave the sport for a game they get more opportunity in – or stop sport altogether.”

Concern was also raised by the Football Association, which has previously estimated that roughly 120,000 games are cancelled every season.

Image: Сергей Шабанов from Pixabay

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