Green Football Weekend: Woman to cycle 160 miles to first match in bid to tackle climate change

Kate Strong is cycling to watch her team play the U's.
Credit: Submitted
Kate Strong is cycling to watch her team play the U's. Credit: Submitted

A woman who admits she is "not a typical football fan" says it will be a huge privilege to cycle more than 160 miles to watch her first ever game.

Kate Strong will be pedalling the mammoth distance from Gloucestershire to deliver the match ball for Colchester United's League Two clash with Forest Green Rovers on Saturday.

The challenge is part of Green Football Weekend - a campaign which mobilises fans, clubs, leagues and partners to take action on climate.

Football fans across the country are being encouraged to think green this weekend as the sport takes part in the annual event.

Kate Strong said the challenge would be a "huge privilege". Credit: PA Images

Ms Strong, 44, said: “It’s a huge privilege because I’ve never been to a football match before and I would not say I’m a typical football fan.

“For Green Football Weekend, to see the importance of engaging different communities and different people, and just to get as many people talking  [about climate change] as possible shows lateral thinking."

She believes the UK's football fans could make a huge impact to climate change.

“If football fans had one veggie meal a day, we could save the equivalent to removing 5.5 million cars from the road, each year," she said.

In a bid to encourage fans to do just that, a free veggie cookbook has been created, with contributions from players and clubs - including Northampton Town

Northampton Footy recipe

Northampton Town's recipe

The Cobblers' Danny Hylton provided a recipe for Fried Beans and Nachos

The book describes it as "a deliciously filling meal and, if you like your food nice and spicy, works perfectly with a good handful of chopped chillies added too."

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Serves 4

Prepearation 10 minutes, cooking 20 minutes.400g black kidney beans1tbsp sunflower oil1 onion,finely chopped2 garliccloves1 green chilli( optional)1 tsp cumin powder, 1⁄2 tsp dried oregano, 1tsp smoked paprika

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  • Lightly drain the beans, reserving t he juice from the tin, but do not rinse(you want the beans in about half the liquid from the can).

  • Depending on the texture you prefer, either mash them roughly in a bowl or blitz them using a blender until smooth.Set aside.

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan or casserole dish and cook the onions for 8-10mins until soft and golden.

  • Scatter in the garlic, chilli and cumin seeds, and sizzle everything for 2 mins more.

  • Tip in the beans, oregano, paprika and a pinch of salt.

  • Cook everything together for 5 mins until the beans have heated through adding more reserved bean juice if it's too thick.

  • Serve straight away witha sprinkling of coriander, if you like, or leave to cool and keep chilled.

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Climate activists have made headlines regularly through their acts to get officials and the general public to take climate change seriously, such as the demonstration at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, climbing the QE2 bridge or the most recent stunt seeing soup thrown at the Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Ms Strong added: “I think we need any level of activism and advocacy. The activism does grab the headlines, but if all of us are activists it would be anarchy.

“I’m definitely not an activist, I am very much into collaboration and connection, and I think we just need as much activity as possible, where people feel that they’re moving the dial in the right direction.”

Ms Strong started her ride on Thursday and will present the ball to the players at roughly 9.30am on Saturday.

She will be joined along the route by various people, including a group of schoolchildren from Nailsea, North Somerset.

“It’s always amazing to have people join me,” she said.

“This isn’t a solo journey and it’s great to share this experience with others to show that a problem shared is a problem halved, and the cycle does feel a lot shorter when there are others on it with me.”

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