Updated: Oct 3, 2022
Having respect for the Environment necessarily means to be aware of its importance. Therefore, the success of a good awareness campaign depends on the degree of community involvement. Since its establishment in 2015, The Animal Fund – TAF, non-profit association, empowered by the precious help of volunteers is deeply engaged in protecting the ocean, starting from the most relevant marine inhabitants: dolphins and whales. Education, communication and action are their main pillars on which their initiatives are based. Fighting against the marine litter, notably plastic pollution, preventing the use of chemical sunscreens, organising beach clean-up days, educational workshops and conferences open to the public are some of their key actions which is making a difference. Their loyal presence to pivotal eco-awareness events like Monacology and the Monaco Ocean Week, testifies to their commitment. The basis of all that relies on a statement grounded on scientific data: 50-85% of the oxygen that we use to breathe is originated from the oceans and the marine life.
Strong of the great success of ‘Run or Walk for the Ocean’, held in Menton with more than 400 participants led by Paula Radcliffe, marathon record woman, TAF organised a new Whaleton (neologism resulting from “whale” and “marathon”) on Sunday the 19th June 2022, in Menton, named Swim for the Whales to which everyone could participate for having fun, doing sport and think about how to keep the sea healthy. How was the experience? MONACŒCOART® collected some exclusive feedbacks from Berit Legrand (B.L.), founder of The Animal Fund – TAF.
MŒART: The Whalethon – Swim for the Whales, held last Sunday in Menton, reaffirms TAF’s commitment to act for the oceans with special regard to whales and dolphins who are crucial to keep marine ecosystems healthy, how did the idea of combining sport with environmental protection come about?
B.L.: I love sport and strongly believe that the mental and physical effect that sport have on our health also can be combined with the intellectual education thus creating awareness of the health of the ocean.
We need air to breathe, and the biggest provider of oxygen is the ocean and its whales. They are facing many threats and they are in great danger. It is crucial to make the world aware of their importance and how we all can help to protect them.
MŒART: What do you like most of this type of events?
B.L.: It is the social bonding among likeminded people, having a good time while committing to create awareness.
MŒART: As in the previous edition, another sportswoman, Sophie Potel, champion in synchronized swimming, represented the event as the godmother, how do you feel in having the support of ‘sports stars’?
B.L.: It’s very important that also the big sport stars are involved as they are much affected while performing at high level. Like Paula Radcliffe stated in the latest video with TAF: “when running, it is obvious that clean air is mandatory and this is why we must protect the ocean”.
MŒART: Do you think that Whaletons really can help raising awareness of the environmental cause you are pursuing?
B.L.: Yes, indeed. We do not only touch the registered participants but also the public around them, either at the event itself of via media and press.
MŒART: What are the strengths of a shared sporting event like this one?
B.L.: We unite people in a sports event while creating awareness of the danger facing the ocean, its marine life and finally humans. We always deliver solutions as we need to keep on being optimistic and giving hope! ***
To know more about The Animal Fund – TAF please visit: https://theanimalfund.net/en/home/