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SailGP Champions, partners, community youth lead 2nd annual clean up of Sydney's most polluted beach

by SailGP 22 Feb 02:22 PST 24-25 February 2024
SailGP athletes join volunteers and representatives of KPMG and Parley for the Parley For The Oceans Beach Clean on Planespotting Beach ahead of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix in Sydney, Australia. Thursday 22nd February © Simon Bruty for SailGP

The Australia SailGP Team has joined forces with its Race For The Future partner Parley for the Oceans, Event Title Partner KPMG, SailGP athletes and other partners to deliver its annual beach clean up ahead of the KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix Sydney.

An estimated 120kg of marine debris was intercepted from the coastline of "The Beach (Planespotting)", Sydney's notorious hotspot for litter.

Thanks to the efforts from Parley, the athletes and partners, the pollution collected will be sorted, processed and upcycled where possible.

Over 100 volunteers took to the beach, which included staff representatives from SailGP, Parley for the Oceans, KPMG, WLTH, youth from the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation and athletes from the Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Spain and the United States SailGP teams. The volunteers cleared rubbish made up of single-use plastics, microplastics and more, which posed huge risks to both the environment and marine life up and down the coastline.

The beach cleanup is one of the Australia team's initiatives for the SailGP Impact League - a sport-first, the second podium for the planet is designed to make sustainability action essential to the fabric of sport. The Impact League tracks the positive actions that SailGP teams make to reduce their overall carbon footprint to help mitigate climate change and accelerate inclusivity in sailing.

Tom Slingsby, Australia Team Driver and CEO said: "As athletes, it's our responsibility to protect the oceans that we compete on. Teaming up with Parley for the Oceans, our partners, and our fellow SailGP athletes for our annual beach clean up reaffirms our commitment to preserving the environment for future generations. Seeing the impact of our collective efforts, with XXkg of marine debris intercepted and destined for recycling, reminds us of the power of collaboration in driving positive change."

Eight First Nations youth from the Tharawal Aboriginal Corporation took part in the clean up as part of their participation in the Australia SailGP Team and Parley's Sail For The Ocean's Program. The program, launched in January, saw the youth participate in Parley's Ocean 101 education curriculum and sailing classes hosted by Australia SailGP Team athletes Nina Curtis and Tash Bryant. The program is designed to bring opportunities to communities that are historically underrepresented in both environmental and ocean sports education.

Tash Bryant, Australia Team Strategist said: "I was lucky enough to host the sailing class with the Tharawal youth in January and it's really special to see the kids here again today, who are full of enthusiasm and determination to do their bit in helping us protect our oceans for generations to come."

Drew Haupt, Director of Parley Australia said: "To protect our oceans, we must work together. Parley is proud to be hosting the KPMG Australia SailGP beach clean in Sydney, bringing partners together to demonstrate our commitment to eliminating plastic from our natural environment."

Geri McMahon, KPMG Climate Change and Sustainability Partner said: "The scope of the challenges we face in transitioning to net zero, include the focus on our oceans and the link to sailing and protecting the world's environment."

"SailGP's annual beach cleanup is a hands on opportunity to not only remove pollution from the sea but also to reflect on the actions we can each take in getting the world to a more positive place. KPMG is proud to be able to participate in this important event and support the broader goals of social justice, inclusion and nature positive."

The KPMG Australia Sail Grand Prix I Sydney will take place this weekend on 24-25 February, with thousands of fans expected to join in cheering on the Australia team as they compete against nine other rival nations. The event is proudly supported by the NSW Government's lead agency for tourism and major events, Destination NSW. To purchase the last available tickets, visit SailGP.com/Sydney.

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