The ‘Game of History’ during the first weekend of COP26 will raise awareness in the UK of those suffering from ‘eco-anxiety.’
Climate scientists from UCL will team up with celebrities, YouTubers, social media stars and football players from both Celtic and Rangers, to play in a ‘Game of History’ at COP26 in an effort to raise awareness of the damaging effects of eco-anxiety on young people.
The ‘Game of History’ will take place on Sunday 7 November during the first weekend of COP26, and will also raise money for local children’s charity Blameless, whose goal is to provide fun times and happy memories for children who have been directly or indirectly affected by addiction or alcoholism.
‘Eco-anxiety’ is quite a new term to many. It is used to describe the fear, loss, sadness, anger and panic humans feel as they learn about – or see first-hand – the impacts of climate change, habitat destruction, biodiversity loss and environmental pollution.
Although not yet formally considered a diagnosable condition, recognition of eco-anxiety and its complex psychological responses is growing, as is its disproportionate impacts on children and young people.
A 2020 survey of child psychiatrists in England highlighted that more than half (57%) are seeing children and young people distressed about the climate crisis and the state of the environment. It is fitting then, that the ‘Game of History’ is focused on alleviating the worries and concerns of those in need.
As the climate crisis worsens and the future for young people across the world becomes increasingly uncertain, the need to take action to prevent the devastating effects of global warming becomes greater, as does the need to protect the nation’s mental health.
Commenting at the launch of the charity match, Professor Mark Maslin (University College London) Geography, Climate Scientist and author of ‘How to Save Our Planet’, said: ”I honestly believe that together we can make this a better, safer, healthier planet for all humanity. Football has the power to break down barriers and energise us all in our fight to save the world.
“The time for action is now – we need to decarbonise our economies, protect nature, and protect our collective mental health at the same time. Raising awareness for these efforts is crucial, so bringing together famous faces for a football match to promote the cause during the middle of the most important climate summit in history is definitely worth a shot. My boots are ready, let’s just hope my legs are as well!”
Mark Abery-Founder of (the pro-celeb tournaments) Soccer Six, and organiser of the event- said: “We are honoured to be organising this match at such a crucial time for our collective future. The success of COP26 affects us all, but the mental health impact is often forgotten about. We hope that this match goes a long way towards raising awareness of the issue, particularly for young people, and also boosts motivation for the everyday football fan to take climate action and live greener lives.”
The world’s most beloved sport, working as a catalyst for saving our planet: truly, the ‘beautiful game’!
Players will include:
● Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography), Climate Scientist and author of ‘How to Save Our Planet.’
● Anas Sarwar – Leader of the Scottish Labour Party.
● Nathan Evans ‘The Sea Shanty Postman’ – new Scottish singer that has topped the charts in Europe, amassed millions of followers and TikTok views and has over 56M YouTube views for his Wellerman (Sea Shanty) video.
● Shereen Cutkelvin – BBC presenter working at COP26 and part of Scottish band of Belizean descent. The Cutkelvins (with her brothers Kyle and Jay) recently toured with Billy Ocean – highly passionate about the impact the climate is having on young people.
● Frank McAvennie and Derek Ferguson – two legendary Glasgow Celtic and Rangers footballers with a combined 300+ appearances, currently guesting on Podcast Open Goal and will be recruiting more former Legends from Scottish football to play.
● James English – popular podcaster and documentary maker. Has amassed a large online following with millions of monthly views across a variety of platforms. Campaigns for mental health initiatives, especially among young people.
Since 1995, the pioneering Soccer Six celebrity football tournament has been staged at prestigious football stadiums across the UK & Europe. Previous players include Rod Stewart, Ant & Dec, The Wanted, Olly Murs, Chris Evans, Gazza, Ella Eyre, Wretch 32, and many others.
Tickets for the event are still available to purchase here.