Wonky Penalties


Did you know that climate change is significantly impacting people’s health across the world and there is something that you can do to help? 

By taking part in our Wonky Penalties challenge we invite you to do a fun penalty challenge with your friends or teammates and then take part in a week-long pledge to reduce food waste.

All you need is a goal, a football, some teammates and time to have some fun!  

The problem with food waste 

Today, approximately one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste.

When waste food goes to landfill, it rots and produces the greenhouse gas methane, which is even more potent than carbon dioxide. Not only that, but when we waste food, we also waste all the energy and water it takes to grow, harvest, transport, and package it.

Climate change is caused by many different things but it is surprising how much of it is impacted by the amount of food that we waste. It is also something that we as individuals can directly have an impact on immediately.

Are you up for the Wonky Penalty Challenge? Lace up your boots and join your teammates in tackling the climate crisis.

How to get started

Contact your teammates and/or friends to form a team - the size is up to you but for the most fun, the more the merrier! Arrange a place and time to meet - perhaps after a club match, or even just in the park. Make sure you have a goal and a football!

Ready to play?

Are you ready and gathered with your teammates? Let’s go!
  1. Choose the penalty type you want to try from the options below: dizzy, heavy or invisible.
  2. Take your shot!
  3. Where did your shot go? Compare it to the goal map below.
  4. Discover your pledge by scrolling down and clicking on the corresponding link!
  5. Complete your pledge and then share pictures and tips on social media using #WonkyPenalties.


Take your penalty after spinning around 10 times!

The facts:

Air pollution contributes to and is exacerbated by climate change. Air pollution increases the risk of diseases such as stroke, lung cancer, heart disease and acute respiratory infections, and is responsible for an estimated 40,000 excess deaths a year in the UK. Exposure to air pollution can cause dizziness, nausea, and headaches.


Take your penalty with one of your mates on your back!

The facts:

Extreme heat results in health consequences such as heat stress and heat stroke, and exacerbations of cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Since recording began in 1884, the UK’s 10 hottest years have all occurred in the last 20 years. In 2019 in Cambridge, England, the temperature reached 38.7°C - the UK’s highest daily maximum temperature ever on record. Higher general temperatures and more frequent heat waves can lead to people experiencing more exhaustion, sluggishness, and weakness.


Take your penalty while blindfolded!

The facts:

Climate change is increasing the occurrence of extreme weather events, including storms and the frequency and intensity of floods. As well as injury, death and damage to property, flooding has significant impacts on both physical and mental health. Those impacted by flooding often lose everything and are frequently displaced, not knowing where to go.


About this project

With funding from the Wellcome Trust, the Natural History Museum and UN Live have partnered on a project to engage young people with the intersections of climate change and health by leveraging a particular cultural genre in five different countries (Brazil, China, England, India and Nigeria). In each location we convened a group of interdisciplinary partners to create a public engagement activity, and in England the selected cultural genre was football.