Sport is central to the UK’s national culture, providing enjoyment, boosting health and a source of passion and delight for millions. The triumph and tragedy of great sporting moments at St Andrews, the Principality Stadium or Wembley sit atop a hive of grassroots sports clubs which are woven into the fabric of the UK’s nations.
But some of the UK’s best loved sports are facing an unexpected threat. Climate change, and the changing risks of extreme weather that it brings, is already affecting sports across the country. The experiences of sports clubs and players in this report, backed up by the scientific expertise of the Priestley International Centre for Climate, provide a snapshot of the problem.
This report focuses on three sports with hundreds of years of history between them: golf, football and cricket. And with the report’s launch coinciding with the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, it also looks at winter sports, which are among the hardest hit by climate change as higher temperatures drive the snow line higher up the mountains. This report reveals the impacts of extreme weather, but also showcases how sport is starting to play a part in tackling climate change by cutting emissions and by taking a lead, inspiring others to follow.