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Arsenal's Hector Bellerin becomes second largest shareholder at Forest Green

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin becomes second largest shareholder at Forest Green
© Reuters
The 25-year-old was impressed by the club's environmentally friendly stance and wanted to get involved.

Arsenal and Spain defender Hector Bellerin has become the second largest shareholder at Forest Green Rovers.

The League Two club's environmentally friendly approach to football has attracted the attention of Bellerin, who first became aware of their stance following a pre-season friendly with the Gunners in 2014.

Rovers are recognised by FIFA and the United Nations as the world's greenest football club.

Under chairman Dale Vince, a British green energy industrialist, the club has employed eco-friendly developments such as solar panels on its New Lawn home ground, the use of a solar-powered robot grass mower, and the creation of the world's first organic football pitch.

Like Bellerin, Rovers are vegan and became the world's first carbon neutral
sports club in 2017.

Bellerin, who recently raised money to plant 60,000 trees in the Amazon rainforest, will work with Vince in a new relationship with the aim to help raise the environmental agenda in football among clubs, leagues and supporters.

The 25-year-old said: "When I first played Forest Green Rovers โ€“ all I knew about them was that it was a long way from London! As I heard more about the club and its work, I knew I wanted to meet them and be part of it.

"So many people feel there's no solution to the world's problems, but Forest Green are already doing plenty โ€“ and showing others the way.

Forest Green Rovers File Photo
Forest Green Rovers went vegan in 2015 and became the world's first carbon neutral sports club two years later (Steve Parsons/PA)

"I'm so excited to be part of the FGR family. I'll be helping where I can, supporting people who want to change the world for the better."

Vince, chairman of Forest Green since 2010, said: "I like Hector's approach, his personal journey and the things he's trying to do โ€“ they make sense.

"I'm looking forward to working with him on FGR and this wider agenda we have a shared interest in."

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Friday's key events

ยท The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

ยท Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
ยท Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

ยท Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
ยท Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
ยท There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
ยท With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

ยท Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

ยท Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

ยท The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

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