World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprint Finals achieves certification for sustainability

The coveted ISO certification recognises the event’s commitment to reducing its economic, social and environmental impacts

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The World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprint Finals 2022, taking place in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, over two weekends this coming October has become one of the first rowing events of its type globally to have achieved ISO 20121 – a coveted certification on sustainability which recognises the event’s commitment to reducing its economic, social and environmental impacts in all aspects relating to the event planning and execution.

Working closely in conjunction with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, British Rowing Event Managers have sought at all times to ensure that the events boost the local communities and economy  and is sensitive to the nationally important nature reserves, geology and archeology found in the local area. The event has sought to reduce its impact upon local and global eco systems, rather than place pressures on resources such as the use of water, generation of carbon emissions and waste management systems.

From the initial planning phase, the multi-agency team, comprising members of key event and local stakeholders, incorporated a rigorous event management system, which served to:

  1. Identify the  environmental,  economic and social  impacts of the event
  2. Put into place measures and practices to monitor and above all else, reduce such impacts and
  3. To engage event stakeholders and local communities around the importance of sustainability for the overall event and indeed for British Rowing.

To this end, the importance of sustainability and the positive impacts on the local economy and communities have been woven into the very heart of the events themselves. They have formed the bedrock of all event communications and marketing, so as to engage event participants and spectators alike. The announcement of the ISO Sustainable Events (20121) certification has been a welcomed acknowledgement of the efforts made on behalf of the event organisers and further endorses the commitment towards responsible event management, so that the World Rowing Championships and Beach Sprint Finals 2022 may be presented as an exemplary and world class model of sustainable event management.

Of the ISO Certification, Event Director, Rachel Dulai, of British Rowing, comments:

“We are enormously proud to have received this wonderful accolade, which represents our meeting the highest international standard; not just from a sustainability perspective – but also in governance and procedures throughout. Ours will not be an event at which no item of plastic will be present, such ambitions would be unrealistic. Rather, we strive towards the recognition of potential impacts, our commitment towards reducing any negative impacts and in engaging our stakeholders, communities and all participating partners in widening the scope of our event. We encourage all involved to consider in general how we may all play our part in ensuring that the events enrich, rather than diminish the communities and environments within which they are held. It has been a great privilege to work with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority towards the ISO certification; we have enjoyed learning more about this wonderful part of the world and – most importantly – in how the World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprint Finals will leave a lasting – and positive – impact on the locality. On behalf of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and British Rowing, I would personally like to give thanks to our Sustainability Consultant, Dan Reading, who has been pivotal in securing this wonderful recognition.”

Hannah Buck from the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, and the official Sustainability Manager for the events commented;

“Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority and our partners were delighted to welcome the event to the National Park. We  recognise the cultural, community and economic benefits that  events can bring and seek to support well planned and managed events. The National Park is a special place and we are committed to looking after and caring for our beautiful natural and cultural resources.  We recognise the important role the natural environment and its people have to play in supporting a sustainable and prosperous Pembrokeshire and therefore were happy to be involved in supporting event in gaining this extremely well respected ISO certification.”

The World Rowing Coastal Championships and Beach Sprint Finals are to be held in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, during the weekends 7th-9th October (Coastal Championships) and 14th-16th October (Beach Sprint Finals), and have been partly funded and supported by Welsh Government. The event will play host to hundreds of rowers – including decorated Olympians – from across the globe, representing their home countries and national teams. Nestled in the heart of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, the only National Coastal Park in the UK, the event location is one of the most unspoiled coastal sites in the world. Boasting panoramic coastal views and a rich cultural tapestry, Pembrokeshire is home to an abundance  of local villages and communities, passionate about their provenance and committed to the protection of their natural habitat. Event organisers are confident that news of the ISO 20121 certification will further reaffirm their shared vision for a meaningful, sustainable event.

Welsh Government Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said;

“This is excellent news and I congratulate the team on this achievement.  We launched our new events strategy earlier this summer, and this is a great example of how we wish to develop the events sector in Wales. The new strategy has been designed to encourage outstanding, cross-Wales events that support the economic, social, cultural and environmental well-being of people, places and the planet – event organisers are being encouraged to consider the resources and materials they use, and where they are from.  In addition, this event will showcase this beautiful part of Pembrokeshire, which has benefitted from significant investment, by Welsh Government, into visitor facilities and amenities. We wish the team well with the final preparations and look forward to the event next month.”

To highlight the accessibility of the World Rowing Championships and Beach Sprint Finals, event managers are keen to enhance access for local supporters, stakeholders, family members of participants and so on, in the form of the event “Harbour Lounge Spectator Area”, in addition to this there will be beach wheelchairs available free of charge so that people who may struggle to get onto the beach have an opportunity to see the action close up.

Entry is accessible to all, and includes access to locally sourced concessions, front row views of the fast paced racing, primary views of ‘Big Screen’ content, bespoke toilet facilities, partial undercover options and much more.

Tickets Prices:

Adults: £10 per day

Children: £7 per day

Details of Spectator tickets at the ‘Harbour Lounge’ spectator area are available online via www.worldrowingcoastals2022.org

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