AC United x Play It Green
In more exciting news, grassroots football club Athletic Club United aka AC United has joined the Play It Green community.
The Essex-based 11-a-side men’s team now plant a tree for every goal scored, issue ‘tree planting’ fines to players and even have a Climate Positive Manager. All thanks to the Play It Green subscription and platform.
A.C. United, have sustainability as a core value of the club.
By signing up to Play It Green, AC United now deliver upon the 3-step solution #reduce #repair #regive. The Manager now receives weekly education, tips and discounts to help strengthen the sustainability culture and has full access to all the tools and services to #reduce the carbon footprint of the club.
Not only that, but AC United is planting 13 trees every month to rebalance their Manager’s individual footprint and help #repair the planet.
Finally, 10% of the subscription to Play It Green will be passed onto their chosen good cause The Woodland Trust. The UK-based charity protecting and planting trees and rewilding forests.
We caught up with AC United’s Chairperson, Daniel Gray to find out more about this awesome community team
Please, tell us a little about AC United
Athletic Club United aka AC United, are a grassroots 11-a-side football team in the Southend and Basildon Sunday Football League Division Three.
We are a new team but formed out of a group of friends who have been playing in the same six-a-side league for the last decade.
The last team we formed was an 11-a-side team in 2019.
We called ourselves ‘AC A Little Silhouetto of Milan’, after the line in Bohemian Rhapsody.
So we’ve always had some fun whilst enjoying our football.
Why is sustainability important to AC United?
Daniel Gray, Chairperson, of AC United said “Sustainability has always been one of our core values. A lot of the credit has to go to one of our longest-serving players Dean Barker for embedding that into our culture. As a group, we recognise that football can be so much more than just a game. It can be a catalyst and a force for social good, for justice, and for helping to give something back to our communities and our planet that has given us so much.
“Whilst football is great personally for physical and mental health, we know it isn’t helping the planet. Every player, official, and fan travelling to a game or training session will be creating greenhouse gas emissions. The travel around football is creating carbon emissions, is impacting on the environment and so we wanted to do something to rectify and repair that.
Why did AC United decide to collaborate with Play It Green?
It was fate, we were talking about it as a club and then the very next day I attended a Convenzis conference at Hatfields in London. As soon as I walked into the main room, Play It Green was being projected onto the wall. “We will plant one tree for every person who attends today’s conference in person.” I noted it down, looked at the website and contacted Chris. We had a video call, found out about everything else they do and signed up. It was quick and easy thing to do.
What does the future hold for AC United?
Who knows, none of us have run a proper football club before and we’re just focusing on the present. On the field we lost 9-1 and 14-0 in two of the opening four games but then posted a 4-1 victory, so a mixed bag. Off the field we wish to be a bit different, use the strengths of the people we have involved and stay true to our values.
As a football club, at AC United, league tables are important to us and we might set ourselves the target of getting to the top of the Play It Green leaderboard.
How did the idea of fining people in trees come about?
Our captain, Harrison Morris, is fully bought into the sustainable ethos of the club. Harrison has promised to plant 10 trees for every win and introduced the list of ‘captains fines’ so players can also contribute.
We have pledges from players that when we first keep a clean sheet, we’ll plant 400 trees to mark the occasion. Given our recent results, that may take some time.
When A.C. United lost 14-0, numerous fines were issued such as Dan Steven’s having to plant five trees because of his own goal and collectively 83 trees for planted that day, so it wasn’t all bad news.
Many of us are dads on the team. We see the news, the weather and want to do the right thing today so our children can have a brighter tomorrow.
Daniel Gray, Chairperson, AC United
“Many of us are parents and care about our children’s future. Climate change is the big issue of our time and it is important we take action to make a difference. To be able to tell our kids that we did our best while we had a chance”.
Chris Thair, Co-Founder, Play It Green
“We’re delighted our platform and education is driving innovation within sport. Congratulations to AC United for their blue-sky thinking. I believe fining players by getting them to plant trees is simply genius and will be adopted by other teams. We’re happy our platform makes it a quick and easy process for the club and the players.“