University of Bayreuth, Press Release No. 085/2022 of 31.05.2022
think.sportainable: Ways to achieve sustainable sport development
The newly founded non-profit organisation think.sportainable, co-founded by five professors at the University of Bayreuth, is entirely focused on sustainable sports. The first international Sustainable Sport Symposium is planned for September 2023 at the University of Bayreuth.
The think tank think.sportainable has formulated a clear mission: "We are rethinking sports: resource-light, low-emission, nature-friendly, humane, sustainable. We provide consulting services for stakeholders who want to embark on the path of sustainable development. And we provide impulses to follow such paths." The scientists in Bayreuth across various research fields are working together with colleagues from different universities - mainly in German-speaking countries, but also in the United States and the Netherlands - as well as with experts from companies and associations.
"At think.sportainable, we are primarily concerned with ecological and social sustainability in sports," explains Peter Kuhn, professor for the Bayreuth Centre for Sport Science BaySpo at the University of Bayreuth. "In doing so, we want to look at sports as a whole. That's why the research groups are broadly based and we shed light on both organisation and infrastructure, but also on topics such as materials, mobility, and communication in sports."
The think tank’s starting point is the connection between the systems of sport (types), society and the natural (environment/) world. For this reason, the think.sportainable team is investigating interactions at the interface of these areas. The research fields were derived from this.
On the part of the University of Bayreuth, expertise from different disciplines is contributed. Prof. Dr. Hans-Werner Schmidt, Chair of Macromolecular Chemistry I, Prof. Dr. Manfred Miosga, Professor of Urban and Regional Development, Prof. Dr. Manuel Steinbauer, Professor of Sports Ecology and Dr.-Ing. Michael Frisch, post-doctoral researcher in the field of sports technology in the Biomechanics research group are working together with Kuhn in the non-profit organisation think.sportainable on issues such as sustainable sports development in cities and regions, sustainable large-scale sports events, sustainable production of sports goods, and education for sustainable development.
The think.sportainable project also involves researchers from the University of Hamburg, Texas A&M University, the Technical University of Munich, the University of Augsburg, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, the Bundeswehr University of Munich, the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin, the University of Bern, the University of Potsdam, the Radboud University Nijmegen, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, the FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, the University of Bielefeld, the University of Konstanz, the University of Heidelberg, and the CBS International Business School.
In total, the team has set up 14 research groups in which inter-university research is conducted. "We want to change structures to enable action," says Kuhn. "Therefore, we see ourselves as trailblazers and want to make sustainability visible in sports as a result."
Although the think tank has only been in existence for a few months, numerous collaborations and project partnerships have already been established. In addition, the first international SusSpoSym is planned for 25 and 26 September 2023: the Sustainable Sport Symposium at the University of Bayreuth will be the think tank's first symposium.