She is 16 years old, she cares about the environment, she has already been dubbed “the Greta Thumberg of sport”
The international press has already dubbed her “the Greta Thumberg of sport”, but the young promise of British athletics Innes Fitzgeraldjust 16 years old and with a long career ahead of her, she is just one of the worthy representatives of the new generation who grew up with the awareness of the impact that over 6 billion people are having on the environment and of the sacrifices that must be made to deliver a planet to posterity healthier.
Innes Fitzgerald, officially invited to compete at the World Cross Country Championships to be held on February 18th in Bathurst, Australia, has decided to decline the invitation for ethical reasons: to reach Australia it is necessary to take a plane and young, convinced environmentalist, he prefers not to personally contribute to air pollution.
Innes Fitzgerald’s motivations
It was the young woman herself who explained in a clear and unassailable way the reason for this choice to be commended. In a letter sent to the British Athletics Federation, the 16-year-old wrote: “When I started running the prospect of a World Cup was only a dream. But the reality of air travel fills me with deep concern. The least I can do is express my sympathy to those suffering on the front lines of climate collapse.”
This is not a last-minute whim, but a conviction that the 16-year-old has been carrying on for some time: “Global emissions have increased steadily, moving us towards a climate catastrophe. […] The science is clear. A turning point is only possible thanks to a transformative change deriving from collective and personal action”. ‘athletics responds that it’s just the small steps and everyone’s renunciations to make a difference in the long run.
It is not the first time that Innes Fitzgerald, holder of the Under 17 national record over 3,000 metres, has put respect for the environment ahead of her ambitions. To reach Turin on the occasion of the Under 20 European Championships which saw it finish fourth took 20 hours between bus and train from the UK via Paris.