Sport, Climatic Conditions and Environmental Concerns

Sport, Climatic Conditions and Environmental Concerns        
Prepared by  Prepared by: Dr Ralph Richards, Senior Research Consultant, Clearinghouse for Sport, Sport Australia
evaluated by  Evaluation by: Dr Sheila Nguyen, Executive Director, Sports Environment Alliance Inc.
Reviewed by  Reviewed by network: Australian Sport Information Network (AUSPIN)
Last updated  Last updated: 21 December 2017
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Participation in many sports and active recreation activities is influenced by weather conditions and environmental factors more generally. Therefore, the way we plan and deliver sports programs may change in response to future climate, weather events, and environmental impacts.

The sport sector is also becoming more aware of the environmental impacts that sport and recreation activities have on the environment (e.g. carbon footprint, materials management, sustainable design of facilities, water and land usage, etc.). Sport facilities and sport practices will change to accommodate these environmental concerns.

The sport and physical activity choices people make will determine where, how, and to what extent they interact with their environment. For sport administrators, future planning presents a number of new challenges: (1) the need to design, construct, and maintain facilities that have minimal environmental impact; (2) adapting to trends in weather conditions and climatic events; and (3) developing technologies, equipment, and practices that respond to environmental conditions and concerns. Climate and the environment will play an ever larger role in our choice of activity; the satisfaction we get from our sporting experience; and our ongoing engagement in sport and active recreation. 

Key Messages 


Many sports will be confronted by climate change and its impact upon participants and spectators.


Sporting organisations , as well as government and private sector providers and managers of sports facilities, will be encouraged to consider their environmental impact and move toward more sustainable facility design, environmental policies and practices.


Some sports may need to adapt equipment, competition rules, or operational practice to suit prevailing climatic conditions.

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