Sport and the Environment: Speaker Series Co-Hosted by the CSS and Brock’s Centre for Sport Capacity (1st seminar Thursday Feb 3 2022)

Sport & The Environment: Politics, Practices and Preferred Futures

The University of British Columbia’s Centre for Sport and Sustainability and Brock University’s Centre for Sport Capacity have partnered to host a speaker series entitled Sport & The Environment: Politics, Practices and Preferred Futures!

The climate emergency has come starkly into focus. Wildfires, flooding, and extreme heat have made news headlines in recent years with alarming frequency. There is widespread concern that fast-approaching environmental ‘tipping points’ could have large-scale, irreversible impacts.

Against this backdrop, sport demonstrates how taken-for-granted parts of life might be disrupted as climate change progresses. The potential impacts of the environment on sport include temperatures too hot for exercise. In another sense, sport itself is environmentally impactful. The carbon footprint for global sport has been estimated to be roughly on par with the entire country of Denmark.

But sport might be a vehicle for combatting climate change as well. For example, this could involve modelling steps towards ‘preferred’ environmental futures. Formula E’s recent attainment of a net zero carbon footprint is a case in point.

This speaker series examines sport in the context of the climate emergency. It considers the politics of sport and the environment, meaning the decision-making of people, organizations, and governments, and the social dynamics that underlie these decisions. It considers environmental practices in sport, ranging from the everyday practices of individuals to the climate change mitigation practices of institutions. And it considers preferred futures based on the idea that imagining climate alternatives is a step towards achieving them.

To register to attend upcoming webinars in the series, you can go here (and scroll to the bottom of the page, where you will see registration information). You will receive information about how to access the webinar after registering.


February 3rd, 2022 Webinar — 9:00am Pacific Time

Soccer Stadium at sunset
Head shot of featured speaker David Goldblatt
Man holding surfboard at sunset

The first webinar in the Sport and the Environment Webinar Series will feature author, journalist, and academic, David Goldblatt.

He is the author of The Ball is Round a Global History of Football, The Age of Football: The Global Game in the 21st Century and Playing Against the clock: Global Port and the Climate Crisis. He is also a regular visiting Professor at Pitzer college Los Angeles and is Chair of the NGO, Football For Future.

March 3rd, 2022 Webinar: 12:00pm Pacific Time

Snowboarding on mountain

The second Sport and the Environment webinar will feature Dan Wilcock and be titled: Tackling Environmental Issues in Canadian Sport.

Dan Wilcock is a lawyer, with a Master of Law in Global Sustainability and Environmental Law. He has served in a range of leadership roles, including as the President & CEO of the Canada Games Council, where he advanced sustainability planning for the largest multi-sport event in Canada. Prior to that, Mr. Wilcock was an executive in the International Affairs Branch of Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Sport and sustainability are two of Dan’s personal and professional passions. He has founded the Canadian Alliance to the United Nations Sports for Climate Action Framework. He is also a member of Canada’s Ministerial Consultative Committee on Greening the Sport Sector.

Dan has experience in high-level sport as a competitor, coach and organizer for snowboarding across Australia and the United States. Dan lives with his family near the banks of the Ottawa River and loves to be outside and active with his wife and two children as often as possible.

Upcoming webinars include:

Liv Yoon (Earth Institute postdoctoral fellow, Columbia University) — March 31 presentation

Michelle Rutty (Canada Research Chair, Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change, Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo — presentation date TBD

To register for upcoming speakers in the series, you can go here (and scroll to the bottom of the page, where you will see registration information).

Support for the seminar series provided by the Centre for Sport and Sustainability and the Centre for Sport Capacity is accompanied by support from the Mobilizing Sport & Sustainability Collective – a research excellence cluster funded through the Provost and Vice-President’s Office at the University of British Columbia. The Collective was assembled to promote awareness about sport’s relationship with sustainability, highlight ways that sport-related social and environmental issues might be addressed, and explore the power of sport as a facilitator for positive change. The Collective, which includes UBC-based, Canada-based and international collaborators from both academic and non-academic communities, operates in association with UBC School of Kinesiology’s Centre for Sport and Sustainability (CSS).