On GREEN SPORTS DAY 2020 (October 6th), The Sport Ecology Group released Season 3 of Climate Champions, the show that shares the stories of sports people who've dedicated their platforms and careers to climate action.
But this season, we did things a little bit differently. In The Listening Sessions, host Dr. Maddy Orr interviews people working at the intersection of social justice and the environmental movement, within the sport sector (yes, these people exist!). They're athletes and activists and coaches and consultants and professors. Each has a different focus in terms of the sports and communities they support, but every conversation is inspiring.
Through the series, it becomes clear that social justice issues are deeply entangled in the same problematic systems that have led to the destruction of our planet. Encouragingly, we also discover that the solutions to these wicked problems often overlap.
It's time to start listening.
The Listening Sessions has 4 parts. Every episode is available at the podcast platform of your choice.
Part 1: What is environmental justice, anyways?
EP 1. Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali – On environmental justice, a starter
EP 2. Dr. Nick Watanabe – On air quality, pollution, sport, and community health
EP 3. Garry Gilliam – On lack of resources and opportunity in Black communities
EP 4. Alexandra Rickham – On what’s missing in the sport sustainability movement
Part 2: Sport-specific challenges and solutions
EP 5. Rhonda Harper – On surfing
EP 6. Dr. Asherah Allen – On swimming
EP 7. Henri Rivers – On skiing
EP 8. Dr. Becky Beal – On skateboarding
Part 3: Indigenous sport challenges and solutions
EP 9. Dr. Natalie Welch – On mascots and colonialism in college and professional sport
EP 10. Kathryn Teneese – On the resistance to Jumbo Glacier Resort
EP 11. Dr. Janice Forsyth – On sport in residential schools and Indigenous Sport systems
EP 12. Dr. Tricia McGuire-Adams – On physical activity among Anishnaabe women
Part 4: Pathways forward: How to get intersectional sustainability right?
EP 13. Drs. Ann Pegoraro & Lindsey Darvin – On putting women and POC into positions of power
EP 14. Aileen McManamon, Monica Rowand & Kristen Fulmer – On partnerships and collaboration
EP 15. Charles T. Brown – On designing safe and inclusive public spaces for sport
EP 16. Coffey – On using running and sport as a venue for protest
Find Climate Champions wherever you get your podcasts
Previous seasons of Climate Champions
This first season of the Climate Champions Podcast was an 11-episode limited series featuring conversations with the sport industry's best and brightest climate advocates. Climate Champions leverages the public's adoration of sport to delve into conversations about climate change, zero waste, carbon neutrality, energy conservation, climate adaptation, disaster recovery, ocean plastics, and more.
Based on the feedback from Season 1, we launched Season 2 in Summer 2020.
(SCROLL DOWN FOR SEASON 2!)
This 2 minute episode offers an overview of the Climate Champions Podcast.
Erik Distler and Garrett Wong of the Green Sports Alliance join Maddy Orr to discuss the first ten years of the GSA, the awesome initiatives of their member organizations, and ways for fans to get involved in the sport sustainability movement.
Dr. Daniel Scott, Executive Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo, joins Maddy Orr to discuss the difference between weather and climate, how climate change is affecting seasonal sport and tourism, and the future of the Olympic Games.
Lew Blaustein, Founder and Chief Blogger at the Green Sports Blog, joins Maddy Orr to discuss jobs in the green sport movement, the historical significance of climate change action, and strategies for getting people to pay attention.
Dave Newport, Director of the Environmental Centre at CU Boulder and Chief Sustainability Officer at Phase 3 Sport, joins Maddy Orr to discuss sustainability in college sport, the challenge of monetizing sustainability initiatives, and the potential for Gen Z to make a big impact.
Monica Rowand, Sustainability Manager at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, joins Maddy Orr to discuss zero waste, green transportation, and the importance of aligning values to get people on board with sustainability.
Caroline Gleich, professional skier and mountaineer and Founder of the Big Mountain Dreams Foundation, joins Maddy Orr to discuss her experiences with climate advocacy in schools and in Washington, the importance of spending time outside, and role models in the sustainability space.
Ovie Mughelli, former NFL Fullback and Founder of the Ovie Mughelli Foundation, joins Maddy Orr to discuss the importance of including marginalized communities in sustainability conversations, the potential for comic books and edutainment to connect with kids, and how poor air quality has affected those he loves most.
Joey McColm, Professional NASCAR driver and ambassador for Earth Day Canada, joins Maddy Orr to chat about sustainability in the automotive industry, his experiences with advocacy, and future innovations.
Dee Caffari, 6x Circumnavigator and Chair of the World Sailing Trust, joins Maddy Orr to discuss the role of sport participants and athletes as influencers, ocean plastics in the most remote parts of the world, and how small changes can have big impact.
Linda Gancitano, member of the original USWNT for soccer and Founder of the How Low Can You Go Challenge, joins Maddy Orr to discuss energy use reductions, galvanizing the energy of youth,
Aubrey McCormick, retired LPGA golfer and sustainability consultant to the golf industry, joins Maddy Orr to discuss strategies for addressing politically charged topics with hesitant audiences, sustainability on golf courses, and the impacts of climate hazards (e.g. wildfires, rising sea levels) on golf courses.
It's been over a year since Season 1 of Climate Champions was released and in that time, the world has faced several natural and health disasters including COVID19, the Australian bushfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and more. It's time to double down on climate action and use the pandemic shutdown in sport to chart a new course for sustainability in our industry. Welcome to Season 2 (and bonus- Season 3!) of Climate Champions.
Dr. Brian P. McCullough, Co-Director of The Sport Ecology Group and is an Associate Professor in Department of Health and Kinesiology in the Sport Management program at Texas A&M University. He joins Maddy Orr to discuss his research, what initially inspired him to take up sport ecology work, and what the new NHL Seattle/Amazon Climate Pledge Arena partnership signals for the new era of sport sustainability.
Dr. Cyrus Wadia is the Head of Sustainable Product at Amazon. Previously, he worked in sustainability leadership roles at Nike and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. He joins the show to talk about his upbringing in Upstate NY, an early internship that spurred his interest in sustainability, and the dynamics of leading change in large organizations like the White House, and Nike.
Katie Rood, a professional footballer from New Zealand, currently in the UK playing for Lewes Ferns, joined Maddy on this episode to discuss her childhood and early exposure to sport, her experience playing in Italy, and how becoming vegan invigorated her health and propelled her into an advocacy role.
Dr. Sheila Nguyen is the Executive Director of Sports Environment Alliance and joins the show to discuss her career trajectory, the work happening in Australia and New Zealand to make sport organizations more resilient in the face of climate change, and the Sport for Climate Action Framework.
Chris Dickerson, former MLB player and founder of Players for the Planet, joins the podcast to discuss growing up in LA, his time in the minor league when he activated his first sustainability initiative, taking public transit to games as an MLB player, and how Players for the Planet began and grew.
Adam Kreek is an Olympic Gold Medallist, best-selling author, and leadership consultant who also runs a start-up focused on making carbon offsets available to communities in British Columbia. He came on the podcast to chat about his athletic career, his successes and failures in the business world, and the potential for organizations to go carbon neutral through partnerships with other organizations in their own communities.
EcoAthletes is a new international non-profit that offers athletes the resources and coaching they need to feel confident speaking out about climate change. In this episode, Maddy is joined by EcoAthletes founder Lew Blaustein, strategic advisor Kristen Fulmer, and EcoAthletes members Alena Olsen (USA Rugby) and Jeremy Casebeer (AVP Volleyball).
Joie 'Jo' Leigh was a member of the Great Britain field hockey team that won the Olympic gold medal in Rio in 2016. Following her retirement from the sport, Jo entered a career in climate consultancy. She currently serves as an Analyst for Carbon Intelligence, a London-based firm, and is a member of the Commonwealth Youth Sport for Development and Peace Network.
Dr. Walker Ross, an assistant professor of sport management at Florida Southern College, and Jamee Pelcher, a doctoral student at University of Tennessee at Knoxville, join the podcast to share their unique stories of what inspired them to study sport ecology, and update us on their current research.
In this second-last episode of Season 2, Maddy is joined by Jessica Murfree and Laura Stargel, two members of the 2019-2020 cohort for the Grad Student Mentorship Initiative, hosted by The Sport Ecology Group. Laura is based in Florida and is studying two master's degrees at University of South Florida and German Sport University Cologne. Jessica is a PhD Candidate and instructor of sport administration at the University of Louisville.
In the last episode of Season 2, Hattie Park, Sustainability Manager at the All-England Lawn Tennis Club joins Maddy to discuss sustainable strategy, the importance of biodiversity and natural features to the overall experience at Wimbledon, the role of sports media in aiding sustainability efforts in the sport sector, and how the sport industry can move forward after COVID in collaborative and supportive ways.