Riley Praises Winning Bootplant Project

BORO star Riley McGree has praised the winners of an environmentally friendly MFC Foundation project.

Incorporating the theme of Playing Our Part in Protecting the Planet 20 teams representing eight schools went head-to-head at the Riverside in a local heat of a national PL Inspires project.

Ashley, Emmi, Harry and Josh made the winning presentation on behalf of Richmond School and on hearing about it the Australia international sent them a message of congratulations.

In it he said: “Looking after our planet is so important and there’s no time like the present to start making a difference. Well done guys.”

The challenge required students to address environmental sustainability at Middlesbrough Football Club through planning and delivering a social action project. They were required to present their ideas around how they would tackle this in front of a panel of judges made up of football club and Foundation staff who work on environmental issues, plus Academy player Max Howells.

Quality of presentation content, design, delivery and concept were the factors on which they were judged.

There were some common themes. Rewards for recycling being prominent in six of the presentations, while others developed the concept in a different direction.

Dyke House Academy (Hartlepool), Grangefield Academy (Stockton), Outwood Academy Acklam, Outwood Academy Eston, Outwood Academy Ormesby, North Shore Academy (Stockton), Richmond School and Stokesley school were all represented.

One wanted to tackle rubbish around the Riverside, two more proposed a park and ride scheme which would take cars off the road, reducing traffic and carbon emissions, two more proposed bike racks at the stadium.

Two more thought about planting trees around the footprint of the stadium, one suggesting planting five trees for every Boro goal this season. Another highlighted that a fully-grown tree absorbs 25kg of CO2 every year. Research was that detailed.

LED Lights were the topic of another presentation, recycling plastic to be used in the making of shirts (like Forest Green Rovers) another.

The winner though was a very simple, yet highly effective concept called Bootplant where old football boots were used as plant pots to grow flowers thereby recycling disused boots – working with the Michael Carrick Foundation something to consider there – as well as reducing carbon from the atmosphere, replacing it with oxygen.

The winners will now represent MFC Foundation in the regional finals.