Young Welsh Sports Star to Champion Climate Action

Young Welsh table tennis phenom, Anna Hursey, has accepted an invitation to put her determination and growing prominence to work to help save the planet as a Young Champion of the UNFCCC Sports for Climate Action Framework.

Ms. Hursey, just 13 years old, is the youngest ever person to play sport for Wales at a senior level, first representing her country at age 10. In her role as Framework champion, she will help inspire her peers, young athletes, and fans to act on climate action.

“I am proud to be a Young Champion and am looking forward to working with UN Climate Change to help set sports on a path to a low-carbon future,” said Ms. Hursey.

Born in Carmarthen, Wales, in June 2006 to British and Chinese parents, Ms. Hursey is the youngest athlete ever to compete in the Commonwealth Games at a senior level—representing Wales at the Games in the Gold Coast, Australia, in 2018, when she was just 11.

Mora than 110 sports teams and organizations—including at the very top levels of sport—have signed on to the framework, agreeing to promote greater environmental responsibility; reduce the overall climate impact from sports; educate for climate action; promote sustainable and responsible consumption; and advocate for climate action through their communications.

In line with these five core principles enshrined in the Framework, and the aims of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, Ms. Hursey will strive to inspire her fans, community and government to raise their climate ambition in a united effort to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

By signing the Framework, sports teams and organizations pledge to play their part to ensure the sports sector is on the path to climate neutrality.

Speaking at the launch of the Framework in 2018, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, Patricia Espinosa, explained that sports organizations and athletes are in a unique position in the race against climate change “because sports touches on every cross-section of society.”

Ranked top in Wales in the under-15 age category and second in the senior division, Ms. Hursey reports that her ambition is to become the world’s number-one female table tennis player and win a medal at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and Paris 2024 Summer Olympics.

She is fluent in Mandarin and English and moved full-time to Tianjin China in 2019 to train with top Chinese players, to help fulfill her ambition. She returns regularly to the UK, where she has been showcased by the media.

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