Sustainability is one the foremost considerations in the planning of any major sporting event and the organisers of the European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland will be implementing a number of projects in order to reduce unnecessary emissions and promote sustainability.
Studies have demonstrated that forty percent of carbon dioxide and seventy percent of other pollutants in cities are emitted by road transport vehicles and in order to reduce the size of the event’s carbon footprint, spectators are being incentivised to use alternative forms of transport. Thankfully, the Zawisza Stadium is endowed with good transport links and fans who can show a bus or tram ticket - validated within an hour before the event - will be entitled to purchase a half-price day entrance ticket while anyone who has pre-booked their tickets will have free access to public transportation.
The organisers are also encouraging people to arrive at the stadium on two wheels and those arriving on their bicycles are also entitled to a half price discount on tickets. Accredited members of the media will also be able to use public transportation free of charge.
Recycling is another important aspect in the sustainability planning and from 13-14 July, the championships will be visited by the EKOBUS - a mobile laboratory equipped with some of the most up-to-date research facilities.
EKOBUS is one of the most innovative tools for promoting ecology and educating youngsters. Their foremost task is to teach them about developing good waste management practices - from conscious shopping and waste disposal through to segregation and building the awareness that waste can also be used as a source of energy.
Recycling also serves another purpose and everyone is being encouraged to recycle their plastic caps from drinks bottles during the course of the championships in order to raise funds to help treat a young boy who requires ongoing treatment for a complicated illness.
Patryk was born in July 2015 and was diagnosed with a TGA heart defect and a hole between the chambers. As a result of postoperative complications, necrosis appeared in both of his feet and his left foot had to be amputated.
While he has started to learn to walk, he requires specialist orthotics and the money raised from recycling the plastic caps will go entirely to his family to cover the cost of his physiotherapy. Special bins will be placed around the stadium for fans to dispose of their caps in a responsible manner.