Hot Weather Resources

Vicsport is developing resources to assist sport organisations to mitigate the risks heat illnesses during hot weather. Information and advice about heat related illnesses, risk factors and mitigation strategies are now available for state sport associations, regional sports assemblies, local governments, clubs, leagues and associations.

By developing these resources, Vicsport aims to promote good policy and practice to protect the health and safety of participants, officials, coaches, parents, volunteers, staff, sports trainers and spectators, whilst supporting continued participation in sport and active recreation.

Resources have been developed in partnership with Sport and Recreation Victoria the Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention.


Exertional Heat Illness is a term used for medical conditions caused by exposure to heat during physical activity. It includes the following conditions which can occur during participation in sport or active recreation:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Heat Syncope (Fainting)
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heat stroke

Exertional heat illness may occur during warm to hot conditions, and may even occur during cooler conditions, particularly if the participant is exercising vigorously or has other individual risk factors that increase the chances of it occurring.

Exertional heat illness can be prevented by knowing the risk factors, signs and symptoms and applying prevention strategies to minimised the risk of it occurring. More information is available in the Hot Weather Guidelines for Sport & Active Recreation available under the 'Resources' tab below.

Several factors can increase the risks of exertional heat illnesses occurring during sporting participation including:

  • Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity and solar radiation
  • Individual factors such as age, dehydration, medical conditions or inadequate acclimatisation to local conditions
  • Other factors specific to sports such as playing surfaces, venues, level on intensity of participation, clothing and equipment, or the time of day the activity take place.

A risk management approach is recommended when addressing exertional heat illness and its associated risk factors. This includes the undertaking of a risk assessment to identify any risks so appropriate mitigations can be put in place to reduce the risk. Mitigation strategies will likely vary from sport to sport, and may include:

  • Rescheduling activities
  • Modifying rules to allow for more breaks
  • Reducing the duration of participation
  • Providing shade, water and sunscreen
  • Promoting awareness and education about individual risk factors.

More information is available in the Hot Weather Guidelines for Sport & Active Recreation available under the 'Resources' tab below.

The Department of Health and Human Services heat health alert system notifies local governments, departmental program areas, hospitals, and statewide or major metropolitan health and community service providers of forecast heatwave conditions that are likely to impact on human health.

The department has identified temperature thresholds for Victoria above which heat-related illness and mortality increases substantially.

Throughout summer, the department monitors the Bureau of Meteorology seven-day forecast maximum and minimum temperatures. When the heat health temperature threshold is reached in a specific weather forecast district, the department issues a heat health alert.

Sign up to receive heat health alerts here.

Vicsport is developing resources and offering dedicated one-to-one support to assist sport organisations to develop appropriate guidelines, policies and or risk management plans to reduce the risk of exertional heat illnesses.

Over the summer of 2018-19 Vicsport is also seeking feedback so that resources can be further tailored to the diverse needs of sport in Victoria.

Hot Weather Guidelines

Vicsport is pleased release the Hot Weather Guidelines for Sport & Active Recreation. Informed by evidence and advice from the Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention, the guidelines contain information about:

  • Trends in extreme heat
  • Advice on communicating modifications to activities
  • Heat illness conditions including signs and symptoms
  • Risk factors affecting sport and active recreation
  • Mitigation strategies

Click here to download the guidelines.

Policy Templates

Two policy templates have been developed to assist sport organisations to adopt a heat policy that is appropriate for their activities, location and participant demographic. One template is aimed at the level of state sport association or large club/association. A second template has been tailored for smaller, volunteer-led sport clubs.

To obtain a copy of a policy template please contact our Participation Strategy Manager Tom Dixon at tomd@vicsport.com.au or (03) 9698 8100.

Fact Sheets

A range of fact sheets have been developed to assist sport organisations to promote awareness of exertional heat illnesses and actions to take if symptoms of heat illness present during sport activities.


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On 26 February 2019 Vicsport is hosting a forum about mitigating the risks to individuals participating during hot weather. Details of the forum will be announced shortly.



Contact

To discuss the resources, provide feedback or receive one-to-one support please contact our Participation Strategy Manager Tom Dixon at tomd@vicsport.com.au or (03) 9698 8100.


Disclaimer

While all care has been taken in the preparation of this information, none of the author(s) or Vicsport including its officers, employees and agents, make any representation or warranty as to, or take any responsibility for, the accuracy, reliability, completeness or currency of any information or recommendations contained on this page, nor its usefulness in achieving any purpose. Vicsport is not liable to users of this page for any loss or damage however caused resulting from the use of this information and accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the information or your reliance upon it. This page does not constitute medical advice from a doctor or health professional. Vicsport recommends users seek independent medical and/or legal advice.Vicsport reserves all of its rights.


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