COP28 Diary 3: Presenting The Ball at the Extreme Hangout

Read here how The Ball was presented at the COP28 Extreme Hangout and met climate activists as well as footballer Jordan Henderson and musician Matt Sorum.

Spirit of Football was able to present The Ball and its stories at the Extreme Hangout during COP 28 in Dubai. The Extreme Hangout area in the Green Zone featured leaders from environmental organizations, businesses and initiatives connecting, learning and teaching about climate action efforts. The Ball was presented during a story telling talk as well as during a sports X climate action panel.

The panel was curated by the IUCN and featured amongst our Spirit of Football representative Iris and sustainability expert Charles Perry, who moderated the panel, Steve Carter, co-founder of U Can Grow Earth, Izy Rekiel from Extreme E, Amber Nuttall, the founder of Extreme Hangout and Susanne Pedersen from the IUCN.

Our colleagues from the IUCN curated this panel and invited the speakers to share their expertise on how sport can contribute to Climate Action. Iris talked, for example, about what role could and should football play in the climate crisis. And what about famous footballers? How can we use sport to raise awareness about climate change and inspire climate action?

Watch the panel discussion here:

In the early evening of Dec 9, our Spirit of Football representative Iris then also shared her personal story on how football brought her to Spirit of Football and led to her joining the 2023 The Ball journey. She shared her most memorable experiences from the journey and our motivation to keep going and bring people together to do good – through football.

Watch the story telling here:

And look who else we ran into at the Extreme Hangout on that day. International football start Jordan Henderson came to visit COP28 and the Extreme Hangout with his friend David Garrido, who is a Sky Sports Presenter and environmental activist. Manal Rostom is a mountaineer and marathon runner who we had met in August at the festival23 Football for Good forum. She is based in Dubai and came by to explore the Extreme Hangout space and  meet The Ball again.

Fernando Godoy is a long-time friend of Spirit of Football and has even founded Spirit of Football Brazil! Together with his business partners, Pablo Lobo and Matt Sorum he attended COP on behalf of Sthorm. Sthorm is a multidisciplinary team developing scientific and technological solutations for pressing global problems, from pandemics to climate change. Their colleague Carlos Roberto Ferreira Lopes is the President of Conafer, “a Confederação da Agricultura Familiar” which supports indigenous famers in Brazil.

Matt Sorum, Drummer at Velvet Revolver and former Drummer for Guns N‘Roses played a concert at the Extreme Hangout on the following day.

At the end of this busy day, the Extreme Hangout staff came together to sign The Ball and make environmetal pledges:

Nikita pledged to

kick out climate change and score goals for sustainability.

Angus pledged

to go vegan this year.

Teresa pledged

to live a more sustainable life.

Rupert pledged to

never use single use plastics.

Shahini pledged:

I want to make the voice of Extreme Hangout louder, and I want to make this world a better living place where people are living sustainably. One Ball, One World.

From left to right: Nikita, Teresa, Angus, Shahini and Iris

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