The world's largest youth tournaments spread Swedish sustainability culture

Gothia Cup and Partille World Cup launches new initiative for the tournaments' sustainability work.

This summer, around 70 000 young people from all over the world will learn to make the planet more sustainable. Reduced climate footprint, sorting garbage correctly and greater focus on fair play are some of the concrete efforts Gothia Cup and Partille World Cup are making for ecological and social sustainability, in the new initiative Celebrate.

– We’re the world's two biggest youth tournaments and we are big enough to make a difference. The tournaments provide lifelong experiences where young people meet the world and gain an understanding of different cultures. It is Swedish open tolerance that we spread. Now a sustainable approach is also included in what we give the young people. It's a chance we can't miss, says Niclas Freiholtz, tournament director at Gothia Cup.

Under a common umbrella, Celebrate, the tournaments collect and develop their work to contribute to a more sustainable world. The three legs are Celebrate the Planet, Celebrate the People and Celebrate the Game and in each part concrete efforts are made to influence during the tournaments, but above all in the long term all over the world.
– During our tournaments, tens of thousands of young people, their accompanying adults and officials gather in Gothenburg. The Celebrate concept helps them do the right thing and thus also spreads knowledge that they take home. In doing so, we not only influence the running of the tournaments in a sustainable direction, but also how young people and adults around the world act in their everyday lives for the rest of the year, says Fredrik Andersson, general secretary at Partille World Cup.

Having safe environments on and around the pitches is a major focus for the tournaments. Celebrate the Game includes, among other things, the Fair Play Trophy, information efforts aimed at the audience and increased support for the referees. New for this year is that all teams at Gothia Cup have a Team Steward, an appointed person in each team who is responsible for how their own team, leaders and supporters behave during the matches.
– We want everyone to have positive memories for life and in this way we hopefully inspire everyone to take responsibility for creating a good match climate, says Niclas Freiholtz, tournament director at Gothia Cup.

Celebrate the Planet is about step by step reducing the negative climate and environmental impact that tens of thousands of participants entail. Among other things, the tournaments this year will reduce their carbon dioxide footprint in the canteens by over thirty percent and minimize the amount of food that is thrown away through collaboration with The Rescue Mission and the app Too Good To Go.
– The driving force is that food should be eaten, food should not be thrown away, says Tommy Wiking, project manager for Food. We have worked hard with, among other things, menus and raw material planning to be able to take this big step.

Celebrate the People is implemented by the tournaments, developing young people from all over the world and in Gothenburg. In a world of conflicts, increased sedentary life and a more difficult path for young people to gain early experience of working life, Partille World Cup and Gothia Cup are a contrast. In their international foundation, they are a place for friendship across borders. Through the tournaments' foundation, teams from resource-poor countries get the opportunity to participate, and the official program gives young people the chance for their first paid job. In addition, movement is inspired, not only by the hundreds of thousands of hours played during the tournaments, but by providing experiences of a lifetime.

– We know that participation in tournaments such as Gothia Cup and Partille World Cup are important goals during the year and a fantastic highlight for many handball and soccer players in the world. That driving force and those memories increase the likelihood that young people want to continue their sport for longer, an important factor in a more active lifestyle that lasts a lifetime, says Fredrik Andersson, general secretary at Partille World Cup.