Wycombe Wanderers’ David Wheeler has been appointed by the PFA as its first ever Sustainability Champion.
David will work with the footballers’ union to provide opportunities for players to share and discuss ideas around climate action and sustainability initiatives, focusing on personal actions they can take but also on practical steps they can lead on within their clubs and communities.
His appointment comes ahead of Green Football Weekend, which brings together 80 of the UK’s professional clubs, fans, families and communities to unleash the power of football on climate change.
PFA CEO Maheta Molango, who joined David and other PFA members from Wycombe Wanderers at their training ground earlier today, said:
“We’re excited to be working with David and to appoint him as the PFA’s first Sustainability Champion.
“Climate change is an issue that we know players increasingly talk about. It’s an area where many want to find out more about the actions they can take in their own lives, but might not know where to start.
“It’s also an issue that has become increasingly hard to ignore in their professional lives, with the impact that extreme weather has had on sport across the world.
“We were impressed by David’s proactivity on an issue where his passion and knowledge really shine through. We will work with him to help bring together a community of players across the game to share ideas on sustainability and climate initiatives with teammates and the wider football community.”
Speaking about the new role, David Wheeler said:
“I believe climate change is the most significant threat to our way of life and the biggest issue of our time.
“Football can be a huge player in creating positive action around climate change.
“I’m really pleased and proud to take up this role with the PFA. I hope I can help other footballers come forward and use their platform, not just to take positive action but to feel like they can contribute to the conversation.”
Maheta Molango also said that he hopes the appointment will encourage other members to utilise the PFA’s network across the professional game.
“The PFA has a unique ability to engage men and women right across the game.
“We want members to use that network – their network – to be able to share and raise awareness of issues they care about, both on and off the pitch.
“Members should never be scared of speaking up on issues they care about. Footballers, and football in general, has a unique ability to influence and engage. Using your voice isn’t about lecturing anybody or telling others what to do, it’s about starting conversations and using that platform.”