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Pat Cummins honoured with BBC Green Sport Award for Athlete of the Year

A leader on and off the field

Pat Cummins, the captain of the Australian men’s cricket team, has been awarded the BBC Green Sport Award for Athlete of the Year for his outstanding leadership on climate issues in cricket and across Australia. The award, which is in partnership with the Sport Positive Summit, recognises individuals and organisations who are using their sporting profile to make change towards a more sustainable future.

Cummins, who led Australia to a historic Ashes victory this summer, has been a vocal advocate for climate action and founded the Cricket for Climate foundation in 2020. The foundation aims to raise awareness and mobilise resources for climate solutions in cricket and beyond. Some of the initiatives that Cummins has supported through his foundation include:

  • Installing solar systems at over four local cricket clubs
  • Hosting the inaugural Cricket for Climate Impact Summit, which brought together experts, players, and stakeholders to discuss how cricket can reduce its environmental impact and inspire positive change
  • Backing the launch of the South Australian Cricket Association Sustainability Roadmap, which outlines a vision and strategy for making cricket more eco-friendly in the state

Cummins said he was “hugely honoured” to accept the award and proud of what he and his foundation have achieved. He also expressed hope that there are “a lot of solutions to move away from fossil fuels or moving towards more renewable sources”.

Pat Cummins honoured with BBC Green Sport Award for Athlete of the Year

A global role model

Cummins is not only a star cricketer, but also a global role model for using his platform to address one of the most pressing issues of our time. His work has been praised by many, including former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who called him “a great leader” and “a great Australian”.

The BBC Green Sport Awards nominations committee also commended Cummins for his “authenticity and integrity” in his climate work, which has “a profound resonance in Australia”. They said that Cummins has shown that “sport can be a powerful force for good in tackling the climate crisis”.

Cummins is not alone in his efforts, as he is joined by other cricketers who share his passion and vision. Some of them include:

  • David Pocock, former Australian rugby union captain and co-founder of For The Love Of, a campaign that encourages people to take action on climate change
  • Heather Knight, England women’s cricket captain and ambassador for [WWF], a global conservation organisation
  • Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh all-rounder and ambassador for [BRAC], a development organisation that works on climate resilience and adaptation

A call to action

Cummins hopes that his award will inspire more people to join him in his mission to make cricket and the world more green. He said that he wants to “show people that it’s not too late” and that “we can all do our part”.

He also urged the cricket community to take more responsibility and leadership on climate issues, especially as the sport faces increasing threats from extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, droughts, floods, and storms. He said that cricket has a “unique opportunity” to “lead by example” and “show people what’s possible”.

He added that he believes that cricket can be a “force for good” and a “catalyst for change” in addressing the climate crisis. He said that he is optimistic that cricket can “make a difference” and “create a better future for everyone”.

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