The club has won the CUP26 trophy for climate-enhancing activity awarded by Planet Super League, an initiative co-founded by Cambridge MBA alumnus Tom Gribbin (MBA 2013) in which fans score “goals” for their team by taking green actions such as driving less, turning down the thermostat (a “Keepie Downie”), or switching to green energy. The special competition coincides with the ongoing COP26 climate-change summit in Glasgow.
Cambridge United “performed outrageously well – pipping Lincoln City in a classic semi-final, before romping to victory against eight other finalists, including Arsenal, Fulham, Spurs and Aston Villa,” Planet Super League said in announcing the winner. “Even Northampton Town, the traditional powerhouse of climate action in Planet Super League, couldn’t match the Cambridge fans this time.”
In addition, Cambridge United fans won the Impact Award for having the greatest impact during CUP26, meaning that an area of forest in the Democratic Republic of Congo the size of 1,000 football pitches is now preserved in Cambridge United’s name through a CUP26 donation to the Rainforest Trust UK.
The CUP26 trophy was presented at the COP26 in Glasgow at an event attended by former England and Tottenham Hotspur footballer Ledley King and Allegra Stratton, the Prime Ministers’ Spokesperson to COP26.
Said Cambridge United CEO Ian Mather: “We are delighted to win the CUP26 competition but the real winner here was the planet. Through the power of football we encouraged schools, staff, fans and the local community involved and we raised awareness of what everyone can do to combat climate change”.
Tom Gribbin said: “This is the first time football has come together at this scale for climate change and we are delighted by the huge impact that CUP26 has had. There have been so many exciting moments during the tournament, and today is the time to recognise the energy, enthusiasm, and impact of football fans around the UK. And this is only the beginning: we’ll be doing a lot more next year to inspire everyday football fans to do their bit”.