Take 3 Ambassador and professional soccer player, Lauren Barnes, took part in the first of many combined ‘beach football (soccer) and clean-up’ organised by non-for-profit organisation Football for Her in January. Girls from the South LA, East LA, and Bellflower communities came to the event in Venice Beach, California, which included discussions about sustainability, games of beach soccer and a beach clean-up, all in one action-packed day.
Football for Her is a Los Angeles-based organisation that wants to give all girls the opportunity to get soccer training and mentorship from professional female players and sport specialists, regardless of where they live and what their circumstances are. Their goal is to keep girls active and help guide and prepare those who aspire to play soccer in college or at the professional level.
Participants using Take 3’s clean up bags to remove litter from Venice Beach, California
Lauren, who wears shirt number 3 for America’s National Women’s Soccer League team OL Reign and Chris Dickerson, the founder of Players for the Planet, an organisation that unites professional athletes to create positive change for the environment, held a discussion with the girls about plastics in the ocean and ways to live a more sustainable life. Working in teams, the girls collected more than seven large bags of rubbish from the beach. Their haul included many plastic items, particularly bottle caps, plastic bags and Styrofoam. Then they joined Lauren and her OL Reign teammates Jess Fishlock, Tziarra King and Dani Weatherholt for coaching tips and games of beach footy.
Lauren said, “The first ever Football for Her Beach Clean-up was a huge success! I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to combine my three loves: playing soccer, mentoring young people and encouraging environmental sustainability. A big thank you to Take 3 for providing the hessian bags for the clean-up.”
Jenny-Lee Scharnboeck, interim CEO of Take 3 said, “It’s great to be able to collaborate with these amazing organisations that are not only making sport more accessible to girls from all backgrounds but are educating young people about the problem of plastics in the ocean and teaching them how to live more sustainable lives.”
About the Organisations
Players for the Planet connects professional athletes and sports teams with actionable opportunities to serve and protect the environment such as beach clean-ups, recycling events, conservation efforts, the elimination of single-use plastics in sports facilities, and more. Their ultimate goal is for the professional sports industry to become a leading example of ecologically conscious, environmentally responsible, and sustainable practices worldwide.
Football for Her wants to give all girls the opportunity to get football (soccer) training and mentorship from professional female players and sport specialists, regardless of where they live and what their circumstances are. They want to create awareness about the opportunities out there for players whether their goal is to play professionally or not.
More about Lauren
Lauren became a Take 3 Ambassador in August 2021. She grew up by the ocean in California, and has always been a keen environmentalist but it was her travel as a professional athlete that became a catalyst for her environmental advocacy. She has worked with the NGO Water1st in Ethiopia to build clean water systems, and has developed a sustainable, eco-friendly travel kit for professional athletes. At the time she joined Take 3, Lauren said: “I’m excited to partner with Take 3 because they share my passion for prioritising the environment. It’s so exciting to see real change in environmental impact around you and I can’t wait to see even more with Take 3.”
Take 3 is looking forward to expanding and strengthening our global connections to unite and inspire a movement of ocean minded people to fight the war on plastic.