June 17, 2008
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Global warming and environmental change has been reported to have significantly affected the world. Environmental change could cause an increase in the spreading of disease, a dramatic shift in both animal and plant population and changes to our weather patterns. Weather changes could mean an increase in drought and flood, along with fires and other natural disasters.
These changes are already evident within the sporting community. Some people are already suggesting that environmental change is a contributing factor to skiing events being cancelled due to a lack of snow, football grounds being unusable due to hardness caused by drought and cricket and rugby clubs being forced into recess due to flooding.
On the 4th of June 2008, the eve of World Environment Day, Environment Minister Peter Garrett announced the Government grant, to develop and support a national cycling training scheme. The $45,000 will be used to encourage more people to choose cycling as a better form of transportation over driving a car.
“One of the great barriers to people choosing to ride a bike is a lack of confidence
and skill. This new scheme will help address that problem and increase levels of cycling in the community.”
Garrett stated that programs such as ‘TravelSmart’ were one way that the Government was showing initiative in encouraging the use of public transport, cycling and walking as alternatives to cars. It is hoped this new scheme will help see more people adopt cycling for the future.
“Choosing to ride a bike as an alternative to taking the car has the twin benefit of being good for your own health as well as good for the health of our environment”.
Other organisations have also began campaigning against the threats of global warming and environmental change. Sport 4 the Environment was launched in November 2007 and holds a strong position in the Australian Sport Industry that allows them to communicate with, and proactively encourage all sporting organisations to develop and implement environmental change.
Australia’s greatest Athletes are showing their support for this initiative, demonstrating the credibility and significance of this organisation. Athletes such as Cadel Evans, Ian Thorpe and Alisa Camplin have all acknowledged that sporting communities can do their bit for the environment too.
Sport 4 the Environment is aiming to provide direction and support that will assist Australian sporting organisations to become sustainable and ensure their traditions and positions within the community remain in the future.
To find out more about upcoming events or to register your support, check out the Sport4Environment website www.sport4environment.com.au.