With BASIS being a not-for-profit, our first task was to find funding options for the event. It was important, though, that sponsorship deals were only signed with organisations that took their own environmental impact seriously and who shared similar values to BASIS. We also felt the choice of venue was very important: it needed to be in Central London so that public transport options were maximised, and the venue also need to take its sustainability commitments seriously. We felt the Kia Oval Cricket Ground ticked all the boxes – we were impressed by all the initiatives the Ground had introduced in terms of renewable energy and single-use plastic, plus its catering partner, Levy UK, had a great reputation on plant-based options.
The event was attended by 100 representatives from across the UK sports sector. In coordinating submissions for the Awards, we were bowled over by the calibre of entries and the initiatives taking place, be it from sporting giants (the likes of Arsenal FC, Southampton FC and the Wimbledon Championships) or sporting minnows (such as Shoreham FC – which ended up winning the much-prized Strategic Leadership Award).
There were also athletes in attendance, including Olympic rower Melissa Wilson, who was recognised for her creation of the OLYEarth+ initiative, working with Team GB to create a sustainable legacy following the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
In addition to event project management, it was important that The Happy Ocean Company generated media coverage that highlighted the work of both BASIS and the Award nominees in furthering best practice within the sector. We ensured media representatives from organisations such as the BBC, Sky Sports and the Guardian were in attendance and secured some fantastic coverage. We were also thrilled that one of our event sponsors, Shoot The Company, documented the event on film, providing us with long-lasting memories of an amazing event!