Tom Campbell has played an important role on the field during his time at North Melbourne, but some of the work he is doing off the field is also of critical importance.
Campbell’s biggest passion outside of football is climate change action, with the ruckman involved in several climate change projects.
One of those projects is The Cool Down, with Campbell among 18 past and present North Melbourne players to have signed up, the most of any club in the country.
But what is The Cool Down?
The Cool Down aims to use sport and athletes to increase attention and drive action on climate change, with the goal to help Australia halve its emissions by 2030 and reach net zero before 2050.
In Campbell’s words, “The Cool Down is an open letter campaign calling for urgent climate action.”.
“We’re athletes, but we’re all Australians,” he told North Media.
“We all lived through the 2019/2020 bushfires and saw the devastating impact of that on our country.
“We saw the impact it had on sport, with the Australian Open being affected by smoke and extreme heat.
“We’re also seeing climate change have an effect on sport at the local level with grounds being unplayable or unfit for competition.
“We care about the future of our country and our planet.”
From first-year players such as Will Phillips and Charlie Lazzaro to VFL/AFL games-record holder Brent Harvey, there is a wide range of representation on ‘The Cool Down’ from North Melbourne.
“It shows that our players care and are passionate and willing to back these sorts of causes,” Campbell said.
“I’ve been involved in trying to get as many AFL players to sign that letter as possible, so it’s great to see 18 North Melbourne players signing it.
“’Boomer’ actually approached me after hearing that I was involved with climate change action and asked if he could do anything to help, which was really great.
“I love this club because our players and our people really care.”
To date, over 400 athletes across the country have signed up for The Cool Down.
“I’ve loved connecting with athletes across all sports that are passionate about the future of our country, our sport and our planet,” Campbell said.
Emma Pocock, the co-founder of Front Runners, the organisation behind The Cool Down, was thrilled by the support received from the Kangaroos.
“When we first started reaching out to athletes about The Cool Down we were overwhelmed with the support from AFL players passionate about the future, and safeguarding the people and places they love,” Pocock said.
“North players have absolutely led the way in calling for Australia to lift our climate ambition with 18 athletes from the club jumping on board.
“It's no surprise given the action the club has taken internally with a roof chock full of solar panels.”