Celebrating 10:10:10 With Climate Football Match In Hungary

  • 13 Oct 2010 1:00 AM
Celebrating 10:10:10 With Climate Football Match In Hungary
"Inspired by a recently published book, "Climate Change for Football Fans" by James Atkins, the British Embassy in Budapest organised a unique football match involving climate scientists and sport champions on 10 October at 10 o'clock in Budapest.

The climate football match was the main attraction of the 101010 Global Day of Doing programme.

The game took place at Hungary's prominent sport club, VASAS, which celebrates its centenary this year. Besides an impressive team of academics, leading environmental NGOs and Hungarian Olympic and World Champions, our climate football match attracted the Deputy State Secretary in charge of low carbon economy and several celebrities (a famous film actor, a model, a radio presenter, etc) who came to cheer for the players, show off their 10:10 tags for photographers, and enjoy the fun.

Well-known model Sylvi Bodi joined Ambassador Greg Dorey in handing over "green" prizes to the winners of a half-time climate quiz. The prizes came from Hungary's first non-profit green shop, operated by Ecoservice. Revenue from sales supports the NGO's low carbon home advice service. The most sought-after prize was a small table clock which runs for months on just a couple of water drops. The Embassy also worked closely with Greenpeace and WWF, who helped publicise and run the event. The site was decorated with balloons - which were recycled by being donated to VASAS's children football academy - and we borrowed Greenpeace's Carbonsaurus, a sculpture made of scrap metal in the shape of a T-Rex, for the day.

Sport proved to be an excellent vehicle to reach the public and decision-makers with climate messages and the Embassy also sent copies of Atkins' book to several of Hungary's top politicians and dignitaries. We were able to use the game to promote messages about the 2012 Olympics too. The hard fought Climate Football Match ended in a diplomatic 5:5 draw and the players enjoyed themselves so much that they asked if the Embassy could continue Climate Football in some form next year. Among the 6000 or so registered official Global Day of Doing events, Budapest probably deserves the "most sporty" label.

In the afternoon, the programme continued with a colourful cultural programme in Gödör Club, the favourite party and youth culture venue in central Budapest, and a flagship "green" venue. We started off by screening the film "Green London Guide", which showcases low carbon solutions by various organisations and individuals in the British Capital, including the preparations for the 2012 Olympics.

It was made by a Hungarian crew from DUNA TV (the only TV channel specifically created to reach ethnic Hungarians beyond the country's borders), with the support of The British Council. The film was followed by the opening of an installation displaying a huge number of 1010 picture postcards with drawings and climate messages from various VIPs and the public.

Temporary exhibitions in the adjacent halls at the Gödör Club also adopted green themes as a tribute to the Global Day of Doing. These included an architectural exhibition and a designer fair. The day ended with short speeches from sponsors, activists and musicians about the enivoronment; cutting of a 10:10 cake by Greg and one of the British Council-trained "climate advocates"; and a party to celebrate those who have already signed up for 10:10 since the launch of the Hungary campaign with Greg as patron in July. All this against a backdrop of superb concerts."

Source: British Embassy Budapest

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