We sat down (virtually) with Dr. Brad Millington and Dr. Rob Millington from the faculty of applied health science to chat about the Sport and the Environment Webinar series. A group of discussions on the topic of sport within the global climate crisis. The first webinar of the series will be held on February 3rd at 12:00pm. Dr. Brad Millington, a professor who studies sport and environmental sustainability at Brock University, will be moderating the first webinar in this exciting series and asking questions from the audience to facilitate a great conversation.
In our interview, we had a chance to speak with both of the Millington brothers about their connection to sport and the environment as well as what participants will gain from attending the webinar series.
What is your connection to sport & the environment, and why is this topic important to you?
As is often said, the climate crisis is something that affects us all – though it’s important to remember it is having, and will continue to have, uneven impacts. The projections from entities such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are alarming, and increasingly so. The window is closing to enact meaningful changes across society. This is where sport comes in.
On the one hand, sport itself is environmentally impactful. For example, our first speaker in the series – David Goldblatt – has estimated that the carbon emissions of global sport are on par with those of various countries, such as Denmark. On the other hand, sport at all levels of participation is certain to be impacted by the climate crisis in the years ahead. Indeed, it seems this is already happening. Sports fans will remember the Canada-Sweden soccer gold medal game at the 2020 Olympics being moved to an evening kick-off to avoid Tokyo’s sweltering daytime heat.
In recent years, influential actors from the commercial, governmental, and non-profit sectors have taken interest in the role of sport in the context of climate change (e.g., the United Nations Sports for Climate Action initiative). Sport is important: the most optimistic accounts imagine not just climate mitigation and adaptation in sport, but a leadership role for sport in modelling ideal environmental changes and outcomes.
Why should people attend this webinar series?
We are fortunate to have wonderful and influential expert speakers leading us through this timely topic of discussion. Furthermore, with multiple webinars, the series aims to cover an array of sub-topics under the broad heading of sport and the environment. The full series title is, ‘Sport and the Environment: Politics, Practices, and Preferred Futures’, meaning speakers might address sport in different forms, politics in different ways (e.g., environmental policies, power dynamics, or theoretical perspectives), practices of different kinds (e.g., people’s everyday practices or organizational strategies), and/or preferred futures at different scales (e.g., small-scale changes or larger-scale transitions). The webinars might therefore be of interest to those studying sport and the environment, to those working in the sport sector (e.g., in sport organizations, in policy-making roles, etc.), and to a general audience interested in sport and/or environmental sustainability.
What will this webinar look like for the average participant?
Each webinar will feature a presentation by the invited speaker (25-30 minutes or so), followed by a moderated Q&A (another 20 minutes or so). This means a blend of dialogue and expert-informed insight. Indeed, the intention of the series is to create a forum for accessible, thought-provoking, and constructive discussion to help in realizing sport’s potential in relation to the climate crisis.
If you are interested in attending this webinar please register here!