International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
ISF’s Football Team makes three commitments to combat the climate crisis and preserve sustainability in sport.
ISF Cambodia (ISF) believes that - to build better and brighter futures, Cambodians must also consider sustainable practices that contribute to a healthier world. In light of 2022’s International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) theme, ISF’s Football Team recognises their contribution to climate change and sets three commitments to reduce their carbon footprint while advocating for greener habits within ISF’s community.
Commitment 1: Reduce carbon emissions - limit moto usage.
In Cambodia, motos are the fastest and easiest way to commute. However, while they emit less carbon dioxide, they emit large amounts of nitrogen oxides (N2O), which according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, has almost 300 times the impact on warming the atmosphere as an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide (CO2).
ISF Football Coach Nuth commits to doing her part by opting to ride a bicycle to work rather than driving a moto. She explains: “Climate change will impact sports. It’s already too hot for [ISF’s] younger athletes to play, and [the] air isn’t fresh - there’s too much pollution.” ISF's Social Impact Sports Curriculum addresses climate change, and many youth athletes bike to training. This year, she plans to encourage her colleagues to do the same and walk, ride their bicycles, or carpool more often.
Commitment 2: Eliminate single-use plastic and reduce plastic waste.
Plastic waste is a prevalent problem in Cambodia. Waterways and drainage systems are clogged with single-use plastic bottles, bags, and rubbish. Cognisant of the negative effects on the environment, Leakhena*, Sam*, and Rathana* commit to doing their part in reducing their carbon footprint.
Sam and Rathana share: “Plastic is bad for the environment because it can’t dissolve into the soil and it causes air pollution when burning. To reduce plastic waste, we will use reusable bottles and eco-bags instead of single-use plastic bottles and bags. When we do use single-use bottles, we can repurpose them to create something decorative.”
Commitment 3: Give back - plant more trees.
Sharing similar sentiments as Coach Nuth, Leakhena is concerned about the effects of climate change on the ability to continue playing sports. ISF Sports Ground is an outdoor pitch, and the limited sports facilities around Cambodia are predominantly outdoors. To combat excessive heat while filtering carbon dioxide from the air, Leakhena commits to planting up to 10 trees this year.
”Playing football when it’s too hot can affect a player’s performance on the field. Excessive heat causes fatigue and dehydration. Having more trees will provide shade for players and spectators. Players will be able to play longer and perform better on the field. As a footballer and role model, I commit to encourage my family and friends to also plant more trees this year.”
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.