Capitalising on Home Turf Advantage – Planting the Seed of Sustainability

On the 14th of October 2017, an exciting garden renovation project was carried out on the grounds of Lindbergs Hús. It had become clear that the house’s surrounding area had been neglected and wildly overgrown, making it difficult to carry out any projects outdoors. With the help of fantastic sponsors, energetic and enthusiastic kids from FC Tórshavns youth academy and selected players from FC Tórshavn’s men’s first team, where I am the captain, we managed to give the garden a complete makeover.

Næmingar: Odmar Færø
Útbúgving: West Nordic Studies, Governance and Sustainable Management

Sponsors, Community & Goodwill

The project was a great success through nothing other than individuals’ willingness to help out and contribute to a worthy cause. A neglected garden is now much more attractive and practical and this was achieved at completely no financial cost. More than 10 youth players from FC Tórshavn’s youth academy lept to the cause for the chance to help out alongside 5 well-known footballers from the first team, whom I personally had asked to help. They all met at 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning and worked tirelessly for 4-6 hours on numerous jobs around the garden area. The whole process wouldn’t have been possible without the input, advice and goodwill of the various sponsors I reached out to in preparation for this project.

Bygma Balslev – one of the largest hardware stores in the Faroe Islands (whose lead manager happens to be a massive FC Tórshavn fan) were hugely influential. They donated roughly 20 pallets, litres of weed killer, roughly 20 gloves, buckets, crates for assembly (to be used as flower beds), 160 litres of soil and flowerbed filler, 100’s of screws, rope, paint brushes etc. Additionally, all this was driven out to location, using one of their transport vehicles and employees free of charge. In essence, a donation of around 8,000-10,000kr.

Bilrøkt – a car and repair store (owned by the manager of the first team) donated 4 tyres to the cause.

Hanne-Dott – a local horticulture enthusiast, donated over 24 individual plants, these included banana mint, thyme strawberries and more.

Leif Mohr – A large electrician/plumbing service provider supplied 2 unused wooden cylindrical pallets.

Skógrøkt – provided 4 various edible shrubs for planting.

Pizza 67 – a pizza restaurant, supplied free pizza to all the kids that helped, when they all met up and had a social evening together whilst watching football.

What was Done

On a Saturday morning in October, roughly 30 people in total contributed a significant portion of their spare time to help with this project. As can be seen, the images speak for themselves:

Before and after:

First of all, all the grass in the garden was cut, trees and bushes were trimmed and the entire surrounding walls were sprayed with a weed killing/rinsing liquid and after jet washed to make them look as new. This was done in order to make all areas of the garden accessible for students wishing to carry out any sort of project in future such as horticultural, agricultural or any other types of project.

Further more, the appearance of the garden was improved with the planting of various types of edible plants in recycled products such as tyres and assembled pallets. This shows that with a bit of creativity, waste products such as tyres and pallets that are being thrown away at a massive rate worldwide can be used for a practical purpose. The students of Lindberg’s Hús now have access to strawberries, mint, thyme and other herbs that can be used within the house for cooking. The idea of creative recycling is further demonstrated with the idea of using a wooden cylinder (ready to be thrown away) and numerous pallets in order to create an attractive centrepiece for the garden. In order to create the large sofa structure and the plant pot next to it I had specifically asked for the help of one of the first team players who works as a joiner. However, the structures were not too difficult to create as long as you have the required tools and raw materials, yet work well to improve the appearance of the garden and perhaps, in the summer, it can be used for a social gathering or barbeque for the students:

Home Turf Advantage and Planting the Seed

The pun in the title “home turf” is indeed football phraseology. It relates to the pitch that a club play their home matches. However, it fits well in with the project as what has been done in this case is that I (a representative of FC Tórshavn) possessing an element of social capital managed to gather together various groups of people (youth players, sponsors, family members and fellow players) and managed to improve the facilities provided to the students of Fróðskaparsetur Føroyar.

“Planting the seed” refers to both the job at hand, as we planted many seeds/plants in the garden that day. But also perhaps planted a seed in the heads of those involved in the project and also those who read this article. A lot of good ideas were implemented here and I would hope that perhaps some of those involved or who heard about this project will try to imitate this in the future.

Finally, the feedback I got was that overall, all those involved enjoyed themselves, shared interactions were had between young players and their idols/role-models and a successful project was carried out and well publicised on the FC Tórshavn Website and Facebook page raising awareness of the things that can be achieved through coming together, engaging the youth and hopefully in the future the students of Lindberg’s Hús will reap the benefits of this communal space.