Happy New Year from all of us at Pledgeball! As 2023 begins in a whirlwind we are taking this opportunity to do a wrap up of 2022 before we launch into 2023.
But firstly we’d like to take a minute to thank you to all of you for your involvement with Pledgeball this year, we would be no where without you! To date fans have pledged to save 4,715,550 kg of CO2e per year, which equates to taking over 1,025 cars off the road! Change is happening.
We’d also like to say a huge thanks to the incredible team of volunteers that makes up and makes Pledgeball as well as all of those who have supported us, without whom we could not be doing the work that we do.
A new partnership with the FSA
In January we launched a partnership with the FSA, producing a toolkit for fans to advocate for climate action. We did this with the support of Climate Outreach as part of their Innovation Lab partnership. This work also saw us delivering a workshop at the FSA AGM, supporting fans to advocate for climate action, and presenting the first ever Climate Action Award at the FSA Awards ceremony at Nobu.
A workshop at St George’s Park
In February, founder Katie delivered a workshop on fan engagement on environmental sustainability at St George’s Park to the Birmingham County FA clubs, including Wolves, Birmingham City, Walsall, West Brom and Aston Villa. The conference was a very enlightening, inspiring day organised by the Fly Green Alliance, Birmingham County FA and Life Tackle
Sports Pro Live
April saw Katie being invited to attend Sports Pro Live where she heard from the winners of the Sports Pro Media Sustainability Hackathon. Katie had been a mentor during the hackathon, and she also got to see some friendly faces such as Matthew Campelli, Aileen McManamon and Claire Poole.
Green Football Weekend planning
Planning for Green Football Weekend began, starting with a meeting with Ashley Brown of the FSA and Henry Staelens at The New Lawn, home to Forest Green Rovers.
Official members of Common Goal
In 2022, we became official members of Common Goal, joining the network of 200 Football For Good organisations in 100 countries, and members of the UN’s Football for the Goals.
Bristol City win the inaugural Pledgeball League 2021/22
At the end of the 2021/22 season we were able to award the inaugural Pledgeball League trophy to winners Bristol City FC, a well deserved accolade as the first professional club to launch with us. Above you can see Katie presenting City’s Ayman Benarous with the Pledgeball League trophy.
England women win the Euros!
The summer saw the England women win the Euros! We did a joint campaign with the FSA and supported them with information about the sustainability of each host venue in the Free Lionesses fan handbook.
The Ball is launched
Summer also saw the launch of the latest journey of The Ball, coordinated by Pledgeball partners, Spirit of Football. It was kicked off in Battersea Park by Hearts player and New Zealand international Katie Rood and is winding its way to the Women’s World Cup in 2023, garnering pledges and inspiring climate action on route.
The Pledgeball League 2022/23 begins!
The start of the new season in September saw many exciting events: we kicked off the Pledgeball League 22/23 with new clubs on board including Huddersfield Town, Bristol Rovers, who immediately jumped to the top of the Pledgeball League table, and Burnley who debuted in second. We also kicked off with Bristol Bears for a second season.
We saw and continue to see increasing numbers of Pledgeball games and derbies! We had the opportunity to attend some of these games and meet some fantastic fans, as you can see below!
Second year with Birmingham County FA
We began our second season as partners of Birmingham County FA and part of their award-winning Save Today Play Tomorrow Campaign. Birmingham County FA grassroots clubs compete throughout the season to pledge to save emissions. To date 2,495,001 kg of C02e emissions have been pledged to be saved per year via Pledgeball by Birmingham County FA clubs, equating to 542.4 cars being taken off the road.
Sell out BASIS workshop
Founder Katie together with trustee Dr Mark Doidge and consultant Jenny Amann delivered a sell-out BASIS workshop on fan engagement on environmental sustainability, discussing Jenny’s research and peer-reviewed article on the potential for mobilising football fans around climate change and the impact of Pledgeball at their pilot club Whitehawk.
Hosted a roundtable at Sports Positive Summit
October was the return of the live Sport Positive Summit hosted by the brilliant Claire Poole. Pledgeball hosted a roundtable on fan engagement on sustainability. This was a joyous, motivating event, finally meeting in the flesh the wonderful, inspiring people we’ve been working with online for the last couple of years, particularly some wonderful members of Team Pledgeball.
The Future of Women’s Football review
Following on from some fantastic work from our friends at Football For Future, who called for environmental sustainability criteria to be included in club licensing. We were delighted to support the FSA with their input into the Future of Women’s Football review, headed up by Karen Carney, once again calling for this to be part of the requirements and that support must be given to enable implementation.
Meeting the We Play Green team and Football Beyond Borders
We finished 2022 with some exciting events; finally meeting Morten Thorsby of FC Union Berlin and We Play Green, (pictured above) as well as Pia and Espen Thorsby of We Play Green in person.
Katie attended the brilliant Sports for Nature which launched the Sports for Nature commissioned report.
We also attended an event hosted by Football Beyond Borders, where Katie joined Football For Future’s Elliot to host a workshop on football and climate change. It was wonderful witnessing the very real and impactful work carried out by FFB and resulting in the FBB Gameplan.
Pledgeball in the Media 2022
It was great to see Pledgeball in the media this year.
– Deborah Meaden’s Big Green Money Show
– Two episodes of Jonathan Overend’s Emergency on Planet Sport, co-hosted by Melissa Wilson, including the Season Finale.
– The Sustaining Sport Podcast with Ben Mole (now one of our volunteers).
– The Climate of Sport podcast with Claire Poole.
– An article on Sports Pro on how soccer fans can play a crucial role in tackling climate change.
– Trustee Dr Mark Doidge wrote an article for 90 Min on the potential of fans to drive change.
– The Fever Pitch Podcast was founded in association with Pledgeball. The first episode interviewed Cat Jebson, founder of Sustainable Clarets.
Thank you for being on this journey with us.
You can continue to support us by:
- Joining our volunteer team: email@example.com
- Continuing to pledge for your football team
- Hosting your own Pledgeball event (it’s free and can be anything)
- Support us financially: the world of sport and sustainability is growing exponentially and we are at the centre of this. The current limiting factor in terms of our work is capacity. Joining us at the beginning of this exciting journey will have a huge impact.
- Spreading the word about Pledgeball