I Play Outdoors
Sporting activities that are conducted outdoors are likely to be affected by UV exposure, particularly between mid-August to the end of April when UV index levels are higher. Outdoor summer sports are most vulnerable to UV exposure and the associated health risks.
Organisations can reduce the risk of UV exposure to its members through a combination of preventative measures. This can include but not limited to;
- Scheduling of sports outside of UV risk times (10am to 3pm) when UV levels are most likely categorised moderate to extreme risk.
- Providing shade
- Providing and promoting sunscreen use
- Providing and encouraging clothing protection (broad brimmed hat, long sleeve shirts, pants, sunglasses)
- Implementing a SunSmart policy to reinforce good practice in sport
- Education, including knowledge of sun protection times, risk factors and sun protection behaviours
- Promotion of weather conditions
- Promotion and social marketing of UV protection strategies
It is important to be aware that hot weather is not a risk factor of UV exposure. Cooler climate conditions and cloudy days can also have high UV levels. Additionally, water sports, snow sports and sports played on reflective surfaces, such as snow, sea, sand and bitumen are also at an increased risk of UV exposure.
Sporting organisations need to consider their sport’s individual characteristics when implementing UV protection strategies to effectively determine UV exposure risk. This includes looking at aspects such as participation, umpiring, coaching and spectating together with:
- competing/participating and training schedules
- time of day
- duration of activity
- rest breaks
- available shade
Sporting organisations have a duty of care to provide safe environments that reduce the associated risk of UV overexposure for both juniors and adults. In particular, children and parents are increasingly aware of being sun smart through schools; while many adults may work in workplaces that require UV protection.
The following case studies show how some Victorian sporting organisations have successfully implemented UV Protection. For further support in making these changes work for your organisation, contact your State Sporting Association or sport development staff from local government.
If you are in regional Victoria, Regional Sports Assemblies provide volunteer support, information and training and development opportunities to local sporting organisations in rural and regional Victoria. Visit http://www.regionalsportvictoria.org.au for more information.
|RETURN TO HEALTHY & WELCOMING SPORT||PREVIOUS SECTION: UV PROTECTION|