Commonwealth Games England has planted 400 trees as a key part of the organisation’s commitment to sustainability.
Partnering with The Heart of England Forest, Commonwealth Games England staff braved wintry conditions to plant trees at the Forest near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.
“Sustainability is one of the core pillars of our strategy moving forward and this is a perfect opportunity to bring that to life,” said Mark Osikoya, Chief Executive Officer of Commonwealth Games England.
“We know how important sustainability is to our athletes and it’s crucial to demonstrate as an organisation that we are invested in a charity that has sustainability at its heart.
“We want to live and be true to our values, so our partnership with The Heart of England Forest is vital for us as an organisation.”
Francesca Carter-Kelly, Director of Sport and Performance, led Team England as Chef de Mission in the Caribbean with the Games, providing crucial experience for athletes aged 14-18.
“We’re in a really privileged position where we get to travel the world as a team and elite sport in particular is known for that,” said Carter-Kelly.
“So, through this partnership, we want to have a wider impact and contribute to sustainability, particularly in the West Midlands which is a region very close to our hearts following the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
“Having a chance to come to the Forest and be a part of that is fantastic for us.”
In March, Commonwealth Games England signed up to the United Nations Sports for Climate Action’s ‘Race to Zero’ campaign.
Commonwealth Games England Chair John Steele said: “The Heart of England Forest have got a vision for not just a few years or a few months, but hundreds of years to come.
“We've been a very small part of that and being together as a team, planting trees, was fantastic.
“We all have responsibilities, and this is not something that we can just push back. The societal and global need for addressing environmental challenges is there.
“Sport involves a lot of air miles and we need to make sure we don't just ignore the fact. This is just the start for us, and it will become bigger and more significant as time goes on.”
Commonwealth Games England’s donation will contribute to growth and establishment of The Heart of England Forest woodlands and enable habitat creation, restoration, and management.