Taxi app

Forest Green Rovers and taxi app Bolt encourage football fans to ditch their cars on matchdays

Forest Green Rovers FC have teamed up with car-sharing, taxi and food delivery app Bolt to encourage football fans to ditch their cars and walk to club matches, as part of a a joint green initiative to raise awareness of the benefits of sustainable development. travel.

Dubbed “FootBolt”, the season-long campaign is designed to encourage and educate supporters by showing that they don’t always need to travel by private car, while highlighting how small, sustainable substitutions in their daily lives – like walking to a football stadium – can have a big benefit for the environment, their health and their respective communities, they explained.

It is just the latest eco-initiative involving Forest Green Rovers, which have been described by FIFA as the “greenest club in the world” thanks to their focus on sustainability. Its chairman Dale Vince is also the CEO and founder of green energy provider Ecotricity, which supplies the club with 100% renewable energy at the club, and it also only serves vegan food at its stadium near Stroud.

Josh Ryan, national director of UK rides at Bolt, said the company’s partnership with the club through the FootBolt initiative “will not only allow us to learn from the sustainability expertise of the team at Forest Green Rovers, but also to spread the message of the impact that small lifestyle changes – like using your private car less – can have on the wider environment and health programmes.”

The Footbolt campaign kicked off in time for the League One club’s first home game of the season on August 6, for which Bolt encouraged fans to log their steps that day in the Wellness Challenge app from the YuMuuv team. People with reduced mobility can also convert the time they spend commuting into steps on the app, Bolt explained.

The company then plans to measure the impact and success of Footbolt in encouraging sustainable travel choices through a series of surveys and follow-up activities.

Bolt described the partnership with Forest Green Rovers as “a unique and real opportunity to explore how places could change if people really reduced their use of private cars, supporting and encouraging sustainable fan travel”.

To promote participation in the initiative, a major publicity campaign is planned with motivational signs at Stroud station and at Forest Green Rovers’ newly renamed ‘The Bolt New Lawn’ stadium.​​

Additionally, Bolt said it was giving away fitness trackers to current Forest Green Rovers season ticket holders in a bid to encourage participation and reshape travel habits.

Participants who reach the monthly target number of steps recorded in the app will be entered into a raffle to win individual prizes, such as golf lessons, subscriptions for the 2023/24 season, he explained .

And if the community reaches the collective target number of steps by the end of the season, which has been set at 1.5 billion steps, Bolt has promised to work with the local council and communities on a big project to encourage long-term active travel. Proposed ideas include improving the club’s access to the town center and family-friendly walking paths between local playgrounds, he said. Bolt has also agreed to grant £10,000 to the Stroud Council to invest in projects that encourage community and sustainable travel.

“Community resilience and wellbeing, and the environment and climate change are two of our top three priorities in the council plan – our vision for the district through 2026,” said Cllr Chris Brine. , Chairman of the Community Services and Licensing Committee of Stroud District Council. “This initiative supports our ambitions to improve physical activity for people in the Stroud District and to work with partners to increase support for low-carbon transport and reduced private car use.”

The announcement comes just weeks into the new football season in England, which has so far seen games played out in scorching temperatures, underscoring the growing impact of climate change on the sport.

At a press conference ahead of his club’s game against Tottenham FC on Sunday, Chelsea FC manager Thomas Tuchel said footballers and others in the industry should be “role models” for the society in the fight against climate change, leading by example and using their followers. and recognition to encourage widespread positive change towards more sustainable behaviors and choices.

“We have known for many years that this is coming” Tuchel would have told journalists. “People tell us it happens. Yet I find myself not thinking about it and suddenly you need a reminder, as so often unfortunately in life, which is not pleasant. The sun gets hotter and the rain gets less and less and the water more and more precious. It’s scary and not pleasant.

“You also find yourself forgetting because it hasn’t had a huge effect, because you’re lucky enough to live in a climate zone where it’s not the biggest effect at the moment. But, of course, the forests are burning and the water is getting less and less and that has an effect on everyday life and of course football because it is part of everyday life.”