Alliance Football Club is an academy with a difference. Founded in 2015 the club aims to provide young athletes with life coaching, alongside building up their football skills.
Alliance runs a program donating kit to underprivileged children and since the academy’s inception there has been a focus on sustainability.
Founder and director Mehran Rowshan explained to GYS why football is the perfect avenue to teach students about sustainable practices.
“We see ourselves beyond a football club and more of an educational organisation. You’d be surprised to see how deep you can connect with a child through football; it’s a powerful tool!” he said.
“Almost a decade ago, I noticed how much plastic waste was being created from our football sessions while coaching at a well-known club. I realised that we could not achieve anything without educating our players about the environmental impacts of our behaviour.
Resultantly, each member receives a reusable bottle meaning the club can do away with plastic bottles.
“When I started Alliance Football Club in 2015, I decided to give our players a stainless-steel water bottle and ban single-use plastic bottles inside the club. Most parents welcomed the idea and supported us, which made a significant impact on our long-term target. Currently, we have kids as young as three-years-old who train with their eco-friendly bottles,” Rowshan said.
“We also stopped using paper inside the club and turn off the unnecessary floodlights during training.The mission is to show our players that every small action counts towards respecting mother nature, and making a bigger difference for the future of the planet.”
The banning of plastic bottles from the academy’s outset set the tone for a club that is continually thinking of ways to decrease a need for single-use items.
“We’ve achieved our initial target of eliminating plastic trash inside the club. Alliance players save approximately 80,000 plastic bottles per season simply by using their Alliance stainless steel bottles,” Rowshan said.
“We make sure that our students are conscious of the impact of their choices on the environment. A simple change of behaviour can make all the difference in the child’s long-term character development.
“When we play outside the club, players instantly notice the number of plastic bottles on the pitch. This means our boys and girls are more self-aware and proactively making better sustainable decisions.
“We also provide our players’ families with reusable tote bags which can be utilised for shopping, going to the gym or exercise classes, and even taking to sleepovers.”