Mississauga will be the first city to host a unique sports initiative


Most people understand that climate change is an emergency—in fact, the City of Mississauga recently approved a multi-million dollar climate change action plan—but sometimes it takes something extra (such as talk about the possibility of a disappearing athletic pastime) to get people to really pay attention. 

The city recently announced that it will be the first host municipality to participate in a new Climate and Sports Initiative in co-operation with Toronto Pearson Airport and GLOBE Series. 

The initiative aims to bring about "positive change, innovative actions and engaging programs" to increase community education and awareness of climate change.

"Mississauga is thrilled to be the first city in the country selected to partner on this innovative initiative. Climate change is real and its effects are being felt in cities across the country. Unpredictable weather and air pollution are impacting the conditions of our sporting fields and the performance of our athletes," said Mayor Bonnie Crombie in a statement. 

"We know that sport has the unique ability to bring people together and unite them under a common cause. Participating in this initiative reinforces our City’s commitment to combating climate change while empowering our residents to be part of the solution.”

GLOBE Series says the multi-year initiative will harness the power of sports to raise awareness about the impacts of climate change and to equip the public with concrete actions they can take to address it. 

The first campaign is Save Pond Hockey, a series of community events involving Canadian Olympians that kicks off at the Toronto Pearson Airport in Summer 2020.

The inaugural Save Pond Hockey event will feature Hayley Wickenheiser, a former professional hockey player who represented Canada five times at the Winter Olympics. 

Attendees can take part in an indoor shoot out with Wickenheiser and other VIPs, while also making personal climate pledges that will be supported by a social media campaign. 

GLOBE Series says information stations and in-person experts will be on hand to provide tips on how people can make a difference at home and in their communities.

The next phase of the program is expected to include a mentoring program that connects Canadian Olympians with schools and other community partners. 

The city's Climate Change Action Plan, approved after the city declared a climate change emergency, has five action pathways: buildings and clean energy, resilient and green infrastructure, accelerating discovery and innovation, low emissions mobility and transportation, engagement and partnerships. The estimated financial cost of each action ranges from $100,000 at low cost to as high as $500,000 at a high cost, if not already covered by existing staff capacity or operating budgets.

Overall, the plan would cost more than $457.6 million in the coming decade between the years 2020 and 2029.

The eventual goal of the plan involves the city becoming completely carbon neutral.

Cover photo courtesy of @idris.yyz

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