When the first plastic cup was tossed into a recycling container in 1993, a Tennessee tradition was born. The Good Sports program recently celebrated 25 years at the University of Tennessee (UT) with the recognition of 10 Tennessee schools doing their part to make their communities a better place to live.
This year’s Good Sports School Challenge winners included the Bradford Special School District, Carpenters Elementary School in Maryville, Cherokee High School in Rogersville, Cleveland High School, David Crockett Elementary School in Lawrenceburg, Dobyns-Bennett Excel in Kingsport, Ivy Academy in Soddy Daisy and Union Elementary STEM and Demonstration School in Gallatin. Each received $1,000 for their environmental program.
“Bradford Schools work hard to educate young people to take personal action to nurture and protect the environment in which we all exist. We are committed to continuing and increasing our recycling efforts in our small, but committed community,” said Kelly Knott, principal of Bradford Elementary School.
Winners of the Good Sports School Challenge were recognized on the field at Neyland Stadium Nov. 3, and each was awarded $1,000-$1,500 for their efforts, bringing the total awarded to Tennessee K-12 schools to more than $170,000 since the program’s inception.
While the festivities at the November 3 game were about rewarding schools for their programs, UT fans recognize Good Sports as the university’s stadium recycling program. On UT campus, the Good Sports Always Give Back Program includes recycling, composting and donation programs in all UT athletic facilities, including Neyland Stadium. During last year’s football season alone, nearly 10.5 tons of waste was diverted from the landfill.
“Bringing 100,000-plus people together for one event creates a tremendous amount of waste, and if not handled correctly can be detrimental to the environment. Our partnership with the University of Tennessee, Food City and Eastman has helped to divert tons of waste from the landfall over the last 25 years—that’s no small accomplishment,” said Jason McCue, district manager with Waste Connections.