Bay of Plenty sports clubs are set to save money and reduce environmental impact on the region.
Project Litefoot is led by 10 New Zealand sporting identities, including Bay of Plenty BMX rider Sarah Walker, who have been leading by example, making changes in their own lives to reduce environmental impact.
BMX rider Sarah Walker is one of the 10 sporting identities who is part of Project Litefoot. Image: YouTube.
LiteClub is a free service which helps community sports clubs follow the lead of these top sportspeople.
Electricity, water and waste are the three areas where LiteClub improves efficiency. The goal is to reduce running costs, which frees up money to go back into what really matters - sport.
By being more efficient with resources, the club has less of an impact on the environment too. It truly is a ‘win-win,’ not a common sporting result.
LiteClub’s field teams travel New Zealand in a van stocked with efficient products: LED lightbulbs, water saving devices, hot water cylinder wraps, pipe lagging and indoor recycling stations.
During a 2-3 hour clubroom visit, LiteClub assesses opportunities for improvements and then makes them on the spot too, transforming the club into an efficiency champion.
Since April this year, 20 Bay of Plenty clubs have benefited from LiteClub’s service. The clubroom changes made are calculated to free up $129,522 and prevent 54 tonnes of carbon emissions.
Thirty eight recycling stations were also set up in clubrooms, to make it easier and more effective for volunteers to divert waste away from landfills.
Since it was launched in 2011, LiteClub has visited 822 clubs, from Kaitaia to Invercargill, and made changes calculated to save $4.7 million for community sport and prevent 4,411 tonnes of carbon emissions.
At no stage do the clubs involve incur a cost. It is completely free thanks to funding from New Zealand Community Trust and local funders like Bay Of Plenty Regional Council, Bay Trust, Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust (TECT), Rotorua Energy Charitable Trust (RECT), Tauranga City Council and Whakatane District Council.
By spending less on utilities that don’t directly benefit grassroots sport, money can go back into coaching, buying new gear and keeping fees down to encourage participation.
Clubs are usually cash-strapped and run by busy volunteers who don’t have the time or money to make these changes. By providing them with efficient products and installing them, LiteClub saves money for sport and shows it can go hand-in-hand with an environmental win too.
Project Litefoot, which runs LiteClub, aims to inspire New Zealanders to be environmental champions.
It is 10 top sportspeople: Conrad Smith, Sarah Walker, Brendon McCullum, Daniel Kereopa, the Evers-Swindells twins, Michael Campbell, Barbara Kendall, Marina Erakovic and Moss Burmester.
Project Litefoot recently won both the Community category and Supreme Award at the 2016 EECA Awards and was a finalist in the Ministry for the Environment’s 2016 Green Ribbon Awards.
Interested clubs can secure a visit the next time LiteClub is in the Bay Of Plenty by registering at liteclub.org