The Sustainable Sports Program (SSP) is a local club initiative created by Linda Curtis and Liz Courtney that was piloted at Northbridge FC. It’s now been launched state wide and Ku-ring-gai soccer clubs Gordon, Kissing Point, Knox, Lindfield, North Turramurra, Old Barker, Prouille, Sacred Heart Pymble, St Ives, Turramurra United and West Pymble have all signed on.

The Honourable federal Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman, and Australian Geographic Young Conservationist of the Year Sophia Skarparis, officially launched the first Sustainable Sports Program in NSW to coincide with Earth Day and the start of the new Football season in NSW. 

The Program piloted at Northbridge FC in 2020, follows a Federal Government grant aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of local sport community clubs. It introduces sustainable practices, inspires youth to have a voice for change and recycles sports gear to give it a  second life in rural areas ravaged by fire and floods. The program will launch across 30 clubs this season in NSW, with more clubs expected to sign up over the coming weeks. 50 Youth Ambassadors have already signed up for the program. 

The Sustainable Sports Program (SSP) is a local club initiative that was created by two local soccer mums Linda Curtis and Liz Courtney, who saw a need and an opportunity to put passion and purpose together at a grass roots level. They hope all local grassroots sports clubs will adopt  this initiative in 2021 to help broaden community engagement and education around sustainable practices, led by youth and their families. 

Linda Curtis, Liz Courtney and MP Trent Zimmerman

The SSP carries positive messages of action and education based on a series of activities and initiatives which combine to create greater awareness of behavioural choices we can all  make in our community. It provides youth with the chance to lead and engage in their future world, whilst making a positive impact on reducing their local sports club’s carbon footprint. 

Federal Member for North Sydney Trent Zimmerman MP says, “I am really pleased we have been able to provide federal funding for this program. Liz and Linda’s work on creating the SSP, including the Youth Ambassador program is so important in promoting sustainable and environmental practices in our community. Community sport is such an integral part of our community and to see the NSFA embrace the Sustainable Sports Program with enthusiasm is a sign that sustainable habits are the way of the future.” 

The SSP also includes A Sustainable Canteen Audit program, through the creation of a new web-based app designed to help create a green canteen over the next three years. There will be a drive to use Keep Cups, bring sustainable water bottles and install a Water Refill station for all players and spectators. Plus the introduction of 3-Tier Waste Management Recycling Bins will allow for a  higher degree of recycling of plastics, glass, and food wastes. 

Commenting on the launch, Hilary Bingham, Vice President NSFA says, “This initiative resonates with so many local community sports clubs who are trying to develop more  sustainable, behavioural changes and inspire our youth to have a say in their future. So far with Linda Curtis and Liz Courtneys’ help, we have managed to recycle soccer gear across regional NSW south and west to support farming communities in need. I commend them for their inspiration and vision and I look forward to seeing this inaugural program being rolled out across NSW and in 2022 nationally”. 

For those wanting more information about the program, here are two short explanatory videos:
https://vimeo.com/manage/538239429/general
https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/526463962

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