Adidas and Parley Ocean Plastic create a floating tennis court in Australia

Launched at the Australian Open, sporting icons played a match on a sustainable floating tennis court on the Great Barrier Reef, to raise awareness of the effects of plastic waste.

by STIRworldPublished on : Jan 27, 2022

As part of its ongoing quest to achieve a more sustainable future, Adidas, the German multinational sporting goods corporation, has launched the Adidas tennis apparel range made with Parley Ocean Plastic. Having made its debut on the courts of the Australian Open in Melbourne in January 2022 with a splash, Adidas greeted Ian Thorpe, Jess Fox, Nathan Cleary and Steph Claire Smith aboard their ocean tennis court. Swapping their sport of choice for a chance at tennis, the athletics partook in a statement-making round on top of a marine barge along the Great Barrier Reef. The central idea of the event was to bring awareness to the effects of plastic pollution and the importance of cleaning up our oceans.

  • The Great Barrier Reef | Floating Tennis court by Adidas | STIRworld
    The Great Barrier Reef Image: Courtesy of Adidas
  • Aerial view of the floating tennis court | Floating Tennis court by adidas | STIRworld
    Aerial view of the floating tennis court Image: Courtesy of Adidas
  • View of the floating tennis court | Floating Tennis court by adidas | STIRworld
    View of the floating tennis court Image: Courtesy of Adidas

Adidas has worked side-by-side with GBRMPA (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority) to achieve this satirical, yet powerful location. It is one of the GBRMPA’s authorised tug and barge operators that was transformed into a floating tennis court. A week out from the Australian Open, the barge, that regularly travels through the Great Barrier Reef for important environmental marine construction and diving projects, was transformed into a floating tennis court.

The top surface of a barge was converted into a tennis court | Floating Tennis court by Adidas | STIRworld
The top surface of a barge was converted into a tennis court Image: Courtesy of Adidas

After the event the tennis court surface is slated to be fully recycled into a sports court, donated to a local Townsville school. Through these two acts, the company is paving the way for school kids to unite through sport and play a part in creating a more sustainable world. Adidas ambassador and swimmer, Ian Thorpe, in a statement expressed his pride in being a partner with the Adidas family saying, "The design of the new Adidas tennis range made with Parley Ocean Plastic is inspired by the Great Barrier Reef, so it was appropriately launched in the stunning heritage-protected Queensland marine park today to raise awareness and positive discussion around how we can help end plastic waste. It was a day that none of us will ever forget. Plastic is a problem that has reached unfathomable proportions: unless we change course, there will be more plastic waste in the sea than fish by 2050. This waste is destroying the oceans.”

Athletes who were already in Australia were invited to take part | Floating Tennis court by Adidas | STIRworld
Athletes who were already in Australia were invited to take part Image: Courtesy of Adidas

Considering the uncertainty of global travel, Adidas invited athletes who were already in Australia to take part in this activity. All athletes arrived from either Sydney or Melbourne. Group travel was encouraged, so car and ferry transfers were clustered together where possible to further reduce the impact that travel has on the environment. This is in line with the inspiration of the brand's new tennis apparel collection. Worn by players during the Australian Open in Melbourne, the collection is inspired by the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef and consists of products from sustainability innovators, made with Parley Ocean Plastic. The hope is that the floating event would raise awareness and generate a positive discussion on the importance of ending plastic waste and ocean conservation.

Tennis with a view of the Great Barrier Reef | Floating Tennis court by Adidas | STIRworld
Tennis with a view of the Great Barrier Reef Image: Courtesy of Adidas

Talking about the new range, Adidas Pacific Senior Director of Brand, Shannon Morgan, said, “At Adidas, we believe through sport we have the power to change lives. We live this purpose every day by looking at all possibilities to include and unite people in sport to help create a more sustainable world. We need to continue to implement sustainable solutions now so that we can help create a new era of sport for future generations. We are committed to help end plastic waste and, by 2024, we will replace virgin polyester in our products with recycled polyester wherever possible. To achieve these goals, we foster open-source partnerships and put a high value on collaboration over the competition to create sustainable solutions that go beyond our own business and influence.”

Athletes playing tennis on the barge | Floating Tennis court by Adidas | STIRworld
Athletes playing tennis on the barge Image: Courtesy of Adidas

In recent years Australia has experienced a multitude of climate change related natural disasters such as bushfires, endangered ozone layer, and the ongoing pollution of single-use plastic that has contributed to the erosion of the Great Barrier Reef. It would seem appropriate to launch this particular collection and host the floating tennis court in Australia, as it has not only seen the effects of environmental degradation the possibility to recover from it.

Adidas has previously experimented with mycelium-based sneakers, and collaborated with artists and festivals to create socially conscious design interventions.

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