Norwich City Football Club is delighted to welcome Nadia Sparkes as our Community Hero against Cardiff City.
Nadia, 12, has become WWF’s youngest ever Earth Hour Ambassador for her amazing efforts to clean up her local community.
Nadia started litter picking in September when she started Hellesdon High School and noticed how much litter was dropped on her way to school, so she began picking it up and used the basket of her bike to bring the trash home.
Sadly, Nadia was being bullied and started getting called “Trash Girl” but she refused to stop, saying the name made her feel like a “superhero”.
Nadia embraced the name and started a Facebook group called Team Trash Girl to encourage everyone to “pick up three pieces of litter today”. The group now has 3,800 members from locations all over the world supporting Nadia and sharing how much litter they collect. “In the beginning I felt very alone and was bullied a lot but when my story got out, I discovered I wasn’t alone so I wanted to connect all these people together.
“One person can only do so much and the job we need to do is huge, but together a team can achieve anything. If we all support each other and all do our bit we can fix this world.”
Nadia’s environmental efforts have been recognised and she now joins the world’s biggest wildlife charities, the WWF, to protect our planet.
In an article on Nadia, the charity said: “Due to her amazing environmental work, we have now made Nadia an Earth Hour ambassador, and she will be supporting Earth Hour this year by asking people to join her in making a promise for the planet – whether it's picking up litter, recycling or composting.”
“It feels great to be an Earth Hour ambassador for WWF, I never expected anything like that to happen,” Nadia says. “I’m really proud because it shows that it doesn’t matter how old or young anyone is, we can all make a difference and I hope that I have been able to encourage others to make a difference too.”
Paula Sparkes, Nadia’s mum, said: “Nadia’s entire family is incredibly proud of her. She has inspired so many people to think about the environment and I know she will carry on doing that at every possible opportunity.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has sent Nadia messages, letters, emails and cards. To go from being one person against many people who were ridiculing her, she suddenly had an army of support behind her and that’s an amazing thing.”
Please give a big Carrow Road welcome this afternoon to Nadia as she brings out the match ball ahead of our game against Cardiff City.
At every Sky Bet Championship home match, Norwich City will invite a deserving community-minded individual(s) to be their ‘Community Hero’ and place the match ball on to a special plinth prior to kick off.
Whether the individual works in the emergency services or the armed forces, is a carer or charity champion, a super fan or a regional sporting hero, the initiative celebrates their contribution to the local community. If there is anyone you think deserves special recognition for their community efforts or personal achievements, please visit the Community Hero page on canaries.co.uk.