ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON AFL.COM.AU HERE.
SPORTS powerbroker Malcolm Speed AO and former CEO Andrew Demetriou believe the time could be right to relaunch the AFL’s green themed round.
Green Round was held in 2009 with the aim to make Australian football more climate friendly, but it didn’t return to the AFL calendar.
It may have been ahead of its time, according to Speed, the former CEO of Cricket Australia and the International Cricket Council, who is now chairman of the newly formed Sports Environment Alliance (SEA).
“Given a couple of years I think there would be sufficient momentum for a Green Round or its equivalent, perhaps across all sports in Australia at the same time,” Speed told AFL.com.au at SEA’s launch this week.
“We’d like to make it a more pressing issue for all sports and move it up the agenda.”
Demetriou has joined forces with the AFL as part of the renewed push for sporting bodies to promote environmental health.
SEA held its launch at the MCG this week and unveiled its nine foundation members, including the AFL, the Melbourne Cricket Club and Greater Western Sydney.
Demetriou addressed the audience in his role as a board member of the Climate Institute, which will partner with SEA to “equip the sports industry with the knowledge and networks to be environmental stewards”.
A board member of the Climate Institute since 2010, the former League chief said he was proud of AFL programs under his watch to improve environmental efficiencies and awareness, including Green Round.
“(Green Round) didn’t return, which I think is a shame, but people are much more aware six years down the track, ” Demetriou told AFL.com.au.
“It doesn’t mean there’s been any lessening of the awareness raised. Every ground that has been redeveloped or built has always had environmental health at its forefront.
“It’s great to see the AFL through Gill (McLachlan) has become a foundation member, as they should.
“I know their commitment to this very important issue and they’ll celebrate it and raise awareness in their own way. Whether that’s a themed round is up to them.”
McLachlan, who is a member of the Alliance’s advisory council, said the AFL was committed to reducing its carbon footprint and impact on the environment.
“We encourage AFL fans and fans of all sports to be aware of their own environmental impact and to work together for a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable future,” McLachlan said in a statement.
SEA has another AFL link through its chairman Speed, who is a board member of Richmond.
The Alliance is the brainchild of executive director Dr Sheila Nguyen.