Home / Topics / Lifestyle / Leisure / Sport will have to adapt to climate change Sport will have to adapt to climate change by Angela Terry 3 Oct 2023 Leisure 2 min read Share this article Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Copy linkLink copied! There’s no hiding from climate change anywhere on the planet– from our wet or hot summers in the UK to the heatwaves and wildfires that ravage Europe. These impacts are increasing as we burn more oil and gas so unfortunately, we have no option but to adapt to weather extremes in everything we do – including how we like to spend our down time. The face of sport is changing due to climate change. We’re a nation of sports fans In the UK, people spend around 122 hours a year watching and listening to sport, but the face of sport is changing due to climate change. The 2023 US tennis open final in New York between Daniil Medvedev and Carlos Alcaraz in September saw them playing in 35 degree heat as a heatwave swept across the East Coast of America. The Australian Open in 2020 saw competitors struggling to breathe as bushfire smoke from fires in East Victoria and New South Wales affected the air quality in Melbourne. Which sport is most affected? The Great North Run half marathon was affected by localised flooding which meant runners struggled to get to the start line. A Climate Coalition report found cricket is one of the most affected sports, with 27 percent of England’s one day international matches disrupted by rain since 2000. Grassroots sports struggle too More than a third of local football clubs have lost between two and three months of games per season because of adverse weather. But it’s not just professional athletes feeling the wrath of climate change. Grassroots football in the UK is losing weeks of game time every season. The same report found local clubs lose five weeks each season due to bad weather and waterlogged pitches. More than a third of local football clubs have lost between two and three months of games per season because of adverse weather. During drought, the grass feels like concrete when players fall and injure themselves. Coastal erosion and sea level rise threatens golf courses There are plenty of golf courses located by the sea across the country – especially in Scotland where more than one in six courses is a links, or coastal course. Erosion from storm surges and flooding from high tides are threatening some of the oldest and best known courses including the Old Course St Andrews and Royal Troon. So what can be done? The 2022 World Cup in Qatar was played in the winter because of the soaring summer temperatures in the middle east so there is the option of moving tournaments to cooler times of the year, or venues can be moved to cooler places, or avoiding peak temperatures in the day. But ultimately all sports are being impacted by climate change at some point – whether that’s flooding, storms, heatwaves or wildfires. That’s why so many sports stars and clubs are becoming vocal advocates for climate action. Because they love their sport and they want to protect the planet so the games can continue. Disclaimer This information is provided for guidance only. Please see the full disclaimer in our terms and conditions. Please share this article and comment on social. Share this article Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Copy linkLink copied!