Creating a better rowing environment. The 2018 Sustainability Awards
Safeguarding the environment has become increasingly critical. World Rowing’s new Sustainability Award recognises this and on Friday 23 November the first ever winner will be announced.
Nominations for this award were narrowed down to three finalists. Here’s a look at the projects of the finalists.
Pushing for a Clean Sweep
Great Britain’s National Schools Regatta, the main regatta for junior rowers in the UK and Ireland, implemented a project to reduce waste generation and introduce recycling initiatives. A key objective was to become the first bottled water free event in the UK. Participants were encouraged to bring their own drink bottles with water tanks being supplied at the venue. They were also encouraged to only bring the food they intended to eat and take the rest home. Recycling bins were located around the course.
The result was a reduction in landfill waste of 43 per cent.
Rowing New Zealand Partnership with the Waikato River Authority
Rowing NZ partnered with the Waikato Water Authority to implement various initiatives to protect the Waikato River and specifically Lake Karapiro, the base of the national rowing federation and team. The Rowing NZ strategic plan states its alignment to clean water.
Coxswain of the New Zealand women’s eight, Sam Bosworth is managing the elite rowers as they undertake a number of initiatives in relation to protecting Lake Karapiro. Bosworth’s first initiative was a social media campaign promoting Rowing NZ’s practices of water care at Lake Karapiro and encouraging others to follow suit.
This is a new partnership, initiated in 2018, has made great steps forward and is still being implemented with the partnership set until 2020.
Love Where You Row (United States)
Currently in its fourth year, this initiative is spearheaded by Alan Robinson and the Schuylkill Navy along with the Head of the Schuylkill in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The aim is to clean up and maintain the Schuylkill River, focussing on the stretch housing the famous “Boathouse Row”.
Together they have implemented a number of zero waste and zero litter initiatives at regattas taking place on the river. Two such regattas are highlighted in the nomination: the 2017 Head of the Schuylkill Regatta and the 2018 Stotesbury Cup Regatta.
Initially the main problem that was identified was plastic litter in the river and along the banks. This was degrading the water quality and the beauty of the area. Initially free reusable water bottles were distributed at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta with water stations throughout the regatta venue as well as recycling stations and compostable waste containers.
In 2017 the regatta worked on a Zero Waste and Litter Regatta. This year was the fourth year of providing free reusable water bottles which calculates to reduce the number of single use bottles by 12,000. Also this year the Stotesbury Cup Regatta adopted a similar approach.
The winning project will be announced at the annual World Rowing Awards on 23 November 2018. A gala dinner will be held during the 2018 World Rowing Coaches Conference.