Planet Earth Games To Launch In Exeter Next Summer
The world’s first environmental-themed multi-sports event will take place in Exeter next summer, it has been revealed.
Formerly the South West Youth Games, The Planet Earth Games is a new concept set to be launched in 2019.
The organisers are promising the event will be bigger than ever – and better for the environment.
In fact, they are aiming to leave Exeter cleaner than they found it, with community litter collections, the use of recycled materials, zero single-use plastic and be at the forefront of the best practice in sustainability in sport.
Organiser, Chris Broadbent said he and his team had taken inspiration from the Special Olympics and Invictus Games and planned to weave elements of those two successful contests into the long-established platform that people knew and loved. He explained:
“At the South West Youth Games Trust, the future of young people has always been at the heart of our charity.
“We share the concern of Devon and Cornwall communities over rising child obesity and increasing mental health issues among young people.
“Our team passionately believe in sport and physical activity as a powerful force for good in for young people – enabling them to live healthier and happier lives.
“After this year’s Games, we surveyed our parents and participants and we found that a common concern they also share is over the environment.
“After all, without a clean, safe and sustainable environment, how can we expect young people now and in the future to motivated to engage with the environment and be more active?
“That’s why we are evolving the South West Youth Games into the Planet Earth Games, a unique event that will be a catalyst of physical activity for young people but also educate them on environmental sustainability for a better future.”
The Devon Youth Games were launched in 1999 and brought together district teams representing local authorities from across the county in a multi-sport competition.
Similar county-wide events were held across England in 1999 and many have since fallen away in the intervening years, but Devon’s not only survived, but thrived.
In 2016, they were broadened into the South West Youth Games to include Cornish teams and competitors.
By 2018, the games had grown beyond one multi-sport finals into five region-wide events – the biggest programme in the competition’s history, with 3819 participants, including 38 per cent who were not members of clubs.
Announcing the new games, Chris said:
“We believe Exeter will be the first city to stage an event of this type. The games will take place in summer 2019, with the dates and exact venues to be confirmed in the coming weeks.
“We will still deliver the most incredible sports and physical activity events for young people, but also be a force for change in environmental sustainability in sport and beyond.”
Chris said that as well as the more recognised sports such as rugby, football and hockey, there would events such as plogging (picking up litter and jogging), group cycles and Tai Chi to connect people with the environment.
He added that the games would be the world’s first environment-themed multi-sport event which will provide a unique Olympic and Paralympic-style experience for young people and their families whilst sharing the best in sustainability in sport and beyond.
The Planet Earth Games will also see the launch of a new initiative – The Adventure League.
This will be the region’s first multi-event series for outdoor pursuits and will reach out to young people who do not currently engage with traditional sports.
A launch reception is being held on January 17 at Exeter’s historic Guildhall.
The ambassadors are :
- Matt Jess – up until recently a key member of the Exeter Chiefs squad who is now running his own coaching business.
- Wellity Active – a fitness clothing and lifestyle brand which has been launched by three Devon schoolchildren, Molly, Joe and Phoebe, aged 10,11 &12 who believe that everyone should be better informed about the importance of health and fitness.
- Jo Pavey – Five-times Olympian and renowned super mum, who won European 10,000m gold just months after giving birth to her second child
- Lauren Dolan – GB cyclist and European Youth medallist
- Moray Low – Scotland Rugby international
- Julian Salvi – former Exeter Chiefs Premiership winner and now member of the coaching team