Green athletics

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Green Athletics Conference at the U

Join us on Nov. 10 - 12 pm to 2 pm in the Schwartz Center auditorium (map) - Lunch will be served  - Free Admission

RSVP here


This conference will give South Florida sport professionals, collegiate sport administrators, students and athletes an opportunity to network and learn.
We want to learn from the professional world and from other universities'experience on how to make collegiate sports socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable. 

From energy/water conservation, fans engagement, waste diversion or eco-friendly apparels, sustainability is a win-win for collegiate sports stakeholders.


Jackie Ventura
Operations & Sustainability Coordinator - AmericanAirlines Arena - HEAT Group
Board member of the Green Sports Alliance - bio
Linda Gancitano
Driftwood Middle School - Academy of Health and Wellness
"How Low can You Go? MIAMI HEAT Energy Challenge" Founder - bio

Oppong Hemeng
Program Coordinator - Sustainability
University Athletic Association - University of Florida - bio


sponsored by  

Who says sustainability and Sports are not compatible?  
A nationally recognized partner, the Green Sports Alliance put it this way: 
"The Alliance inspires professional sports leagues, college conferences, sports governing bodies, colleges, teams, venues, their partners and millions of fans to embrace renewable energy, healthy food, recycling, water efficiency, safer chemicals and other environmentally preferable practices."









Linda Gancitano, an educator of 27 years, teaches at Driftwood Middle School in Broward County,Florida. Linda was a member of the first-ever U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, was recognized by the White House for being a Champion of Change for Climate Education and Literacy, EPA Faces of Climate Change, Florida Green School Teacher of the Year, District P3 Eco-Teacher of the Year and SHAPE Florida Teacher of the Year. Ms.Gancitano’s major initiative for climate change education has been through her creation of the How Low Can You Go Challenge (Zero Energy) for k-12 schools across the country and  partnership with the Miami Heat. Ms. Gancitano’s latest environmental initiative is co-founding the Climate and Sports Student Summits. Linda has extensive training under Al Gore for the Climate Reality Leadership Training. 

Jackie Ventura, Director, Sustainability & Operations, AmericanAirlines Arena / Miami HEAT

Jackie Ventura joined The Heat Group at the AmericanAirlines Arena in 2001. In her current role, Jackie monitors and tracks all aspects of the day-to-day operations of the facility including utility forecasting/tracking, labor distribution, CMMS administration, and projects and reconciles a multi-million dollar operating budget. In 2008, Jackie evaluated the NBA league-wide suggestions for viable sustainability initiatives for the AA Arena and determined that the facility would satisfy all of the requirements for LEED Existing Building: Operations and Maintenance certification. Given her history and role in the department, Jackie was able to easily manage and administer the LEED certification completely in-house and within six months from project registration to certification award only employing the assistance of key staff members and vendors as needed. This earned the Arena the distinction of being the first NBA facility to earn LEED certification in April 2009.   In 2014, Jackie once again led the recertification efforts, improving the building to LEED Gold but also making the AA Arena the first sports and entertainment facility in the world to achieve LEED re-certification.  Currently, Jackie reviews, recommends, and implements sustainability efforts for the facility, formalizes sustainability policies, and engages the public on the AA Arena’s efforts.  She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Green Sports Alliance and the Resiliency Task Force for the Downtown Development Authority (DDA).

Oppong Hemeng
University Athletic Association - University of Florida

Oppong is the Sustainability Coordinator for the University Athletic Association at the University of Florida. He assists with the event management for a number of varsity sport programs as well as other major events hosted in the Florida Gators athletics facilities. His main focus is developing sustainability projects; educating the UF community about environmental, social, and economic sustainability efforts; and assessing the impact and outcomes of these initiatives. Oppong plays an integral part in the execution of campus-wide sustainability goals of the athletic department. Prior to working with the UF Athletic Association, Oppong worked for the Office of Sustainability and Department of Recreational Sports at UF. He also currently serves on the sustainability community of practice committee for the National Intramural Recreation Sports Association.