EUGENE—October 5, 2015—The movement towards greater responsibility in sport takes another international step forward this week, as the Council for Responsible Sport (Council) has announced the silver level certification of the 2015 CAF (development bank of Latin America) Marathon in Caracas, Venezuela—the first event in that country to become certified. Event organizer CAF is a financial institution, which promotes sustainable development and regional integration with 19 member countries and headquarters in Caracas.
The event, held April 26 in Venezuela’s capital city, reached 40 of the best practice standards set forth by the Council, spanning all five categories in the program including: planning & communication, procurement, resource management, access and equity and community legacy.
Highlights from the effort to reduce environmental impacts included a comprehensive waste management program that collected organics and plastics for composting and recycling and which solicited shoe donations and offered an e-waste collection site. Also an uncommon practice in the U.S., the hard plastic tops of water bottles were collected and recycled separately, earning funds for a non-profit supporting cancer research called ‘Tapas por Vidas’ (‘Tops for Lives’).
Another key focus was to provide resources to improve and maintain the integrity of community spaces and athletic culture in Venezuela. CAF donated funds to the international governing body for Venezuela (Federacion Venezolana de Atletismo) to be used to restore culturally significant photos and artwork at Brígido Iriarte Stadium in Caracas. Additionally, yard maintenance equipment was donated to Fundapatrimonio, the governmental division responsible for public parks, to help improve the maintenance of the event site and one of the cities’ oldest public parks, Parque Los Caobos (Los Caobos Park).
“The Council was genuinely impressed at the broad-ranging efforts put forth by CAF on behalf of the CAF Marathon. Amidst a country and city with significant social and economic challenges, the leadership of CAF and the marathon they host is an inspiring example of how sport can create impetus for positive change,” said Shelley Villalobos, certification director for the Council for Responsible Sport.
CAF will now focus attention on an attempt to certify another event it hosts, the ‘La Paz 3600 10k’ coming up in La Paz, Bolivia on October 25, 2015. That event has an explicit social mission to raise awareness of the problem of domestic abuse of women and to support a growing movement to address the issue.
A statement about the certification by CAF in Spanish can be viewed here (http://www.councilforresponsiblesport.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Marato%CC%81n-CAF-Caracas_release.pdf).
To date, over 100 events have been certified by the Council—with 15 of those taking place outside the United States. Four events in the United Kingdom, four in Italy, four in Canada, one in Mexico, one in Colombia and now one in Venezuela have all earned accolades from the Council. A complete list of certified events can be seen on the Council for Responsible Sport website.
About the Council for Responsible Sport:
The Council’s vision is a world where responsibly produced sports events are the norm and its mission is to provide objective, independent verification of the socially and environmentally responsible work event organizers are doing to make a difference in their communities. The current version of the Council’s Certification standards (v.4.2) was developed by an outside working group of both sustainability and sport industry experts, reviewed by a wide range of stakeholders throughout 2013 and implemented in January 2014. www.CouncilforResponsibleSport.org