In the context of European Athletics’ Green Inspiration initiative, the organisers of the Lisboa 2019 SPAR European Cross Country Championships implemented a range of activities to promote sustainability and good environmental practices.
Green Inspiration was created in 2013 to help Member Federations and Local Organising Committees of major events to implement environmental and sustainability initiatives and engage the public in predominantly locally-focused projects.
The most symbolic activity was a tree planting programme in which trees representing all 40 participating nations were planted at the Bela Vista Park, the venue of the European Cross Country Championships.
On the morning before the championships, European Athletics Delegate Jean Gracia, LOC President Jorge Salcedo, Deputy Mayor of Lisbon Carlos Castro and Portuguese middle distance running great Rui Silva were on hand to plant 80 trees as part of the organiser’s efforts to reduce the ecological footprint and to leave the venue with better conditions for the public in the future.
Food waste was also kept to a minimum as the organisers worked closely with a local food waste combat institution to ensure that food which wasn’t eaten at the venue was redistributed to soup kitchens and homeless shelters.
To get more people active, one of the key pillars of their legacy programme was the formation of the Lisbon Running Center which came into being in September, forming part of their solution to create better running conditions in Lisbon. The programme has also elicited a strong response locally and the club and caters for runners of all abilities.