10 July, 2021 News stories

The Universal Language of Football: Antarctic Researchers send best wishes to the England men’s football team

 The Euro 2020 Men’s Football Final will be watched by a small group of intrepid scientists and support staff living 11,000km away from Wembley at the British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station in Antarctica and at King Edward Point Research Station on the island of South Georgia.

Rothera Research Station is currently home to over 20 scientists and support staff on Adelaide Island on the Antarctic Peninsula. The team are working through the dark Antarctic winter, where temperatures regularly reach below -20°C and gale force winds. A group of avid English supporters wanted to share their support for the England team by recording a short video of them battling the elements and parading the English flag around the station.

Not all staff will be supporting England though. Jaskiran Nagi, the Electronics Engineer, has Italian heritage and will be supporting the English opposition, meaning that at least one person will be happy with the outcome!

A group of people posing for a picture in the snow
The team at Rothera will be rooting for England at this Sunday’s final, with one staff member supporting Italy

Rothera Research Station electrician, Joe Owen, says:

“We are all really excited about England being in the final and will all watch the big game this Sunday. At the start of the tournament we only had 5-6 people watching the matches, but it’s great to see everyone get into the spirit and come together.”

A group of people riding skis across snow covered ground
The team at Rothera walk the England flag through Rothera Research Station in high winds and sub-zero temperatures in support of England at this Sunday’s final

Diving officer Mike Lindsell, who’s also at Rothera Research Station, has this message for the England team:

“Best of luck England – we know you can do it. And we’ll be cheering you on all the way. It needs to come home before we do!”

Over at King Edward Point Research Station on the Sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, the team of eight will be going to extraordinary lengths to follow the match. Due to its remote location, the team will listen via a phone link to a radio in the UK, with the potential to follow live updates if bandwidth allows.