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September 6 2013

Green Shoots with Dale Vince

Dale Vince

We’ve had some very interesting visitors to The New Lawn over the summer, each interested in a different aspect of what we’re doing at Forest Green Rovers.

Our first visitor was former Mixed Martial Arts Fighter, and world champion, James Wilks. James is on a tour of Europe making a documentary about vegans in the world of sport, he was inspired by what he’d seen of FGR and wanted to include us in his film. He’s a vegan himself, which is a bit of a stereotype buster, and after filming at FGR he was off to meet with Germany’s strongest man – another vegan no less.

Then, last week, in a bit of a contrast to the world of Cage Fighting, an international group of postgraduate students spent the day with us as part of a project called Climate-KIC. The project is run from Imperial College, London and the thirty-six students are all aspiring green entrepreneurs: they came to talk to us about how to launch and run a green business and how they might advance their own careers as entrepreneurs. I spent a couple of hours with them in a Q&A talking about what we’ve done, at FGR and Ecotricity – and the ideas they have themselves. I really enjoyed it.  These are without doubt the next generation of eco entrepreneurs – in the making. They’re rounding their project off with a ‘Green Dragon’s Den’ event in London, where they will pitch their own ideas. I’ve been invited on to the panel, I think I’ll accept.

The third of this eclectic bunch of visitors was the head groundsman of the FA’s new training facility - St George’s Park in the National Forest. He came to learn more about our work on FGR’s organic pitch. He’s really impressed, not just with what we’re doing but how – the sophistication, the science that supports it. It’s an approach, he said, that he would like the FA to adopt. That’s very good to hear.

Visitors, from different countries and different walks of life, all coming to FGR to learn more about our work. That’s exactly what we want, to be able to influence a wide audience of people – through our work at FGR and Sustainability in Sport– the charity that Gary Neville and I run. 

Our message will be heard all the better as we travel up the leagues of English football. The success of our sustainability message goes hand in hand with the success of our team on the pitch. Joining the Football League is our next goal.