Injury Prevention


Many sports related injuries are soft tissue injuries that relate to the muscles, tendons and ligaments.Therefore, Warm Up and Cool Down activities should be incorporated into training and competition routines.

“Warm-up and cool-down activities should be incorporated into training and competition routines. The warm-up prepares the body for activity, as well as helping to prevent injury to muscles, which can be more susceptible to injury when cold. The cool-down helps the body clear lactic acid that builds up during any activity. Less lactic acid means less soreness and stiffness the next day!”Australian Institute of Sport, Australian Sports Commission

Stretching is another important component in preparation, performed when the body is warm. Slow gentle stretching should move the muscle groups through the full range of movement requirement by the activity.

Links: The warm up and cool down

Clubs should create a warm up, cool down or stretching routine that is displayed for participants use, as well as providing time in their training sessions to ensure the warm up and cool down is included.

Ensuring that everyone is well hydrated, and adjusting the hydration requirements to suit weather and other conditions is an important responsibility of clubs and participants.

During activity the body regulates and cools itself by sweating, which results in a loss of body fluid, which if not replaced can lead to dehydration.

Links: Fluids in Sports

Links: Eating and Drinking Before Exercise

Providing easy access to drinking water, as well as encouraging participants to drink water during games and as part of their training is an easy way to introduce better hydration.


The weather environment can have a significant impact on playing sport, particularly during hot and sunny conditions.

Understanding the cause of heat illness can help prevent exposure to your participants.

The classic anecdote of Slip Slop Slap has recently expanded:

  • Slip – on protective clothing that cover as much skin as possible
  • Slop – on SPF30+ sunscreen and lip balm (20 minutes prior to activity)
  • Slap – on a hat – ensure that it protects your face, head, neck and ears
  • Seek – options for shade
  • Slide – on sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Link: SunSmart Guides

To assist in preventing heat illness, clubs can consider when their trainings, competitions, programs and other participation opportunities are occurring with respect to the heat of the day, as well as including appropriate protective clothing information on posters and in participant materials.

UV (ultraviolet) exposure is also a safety and health factor in heat illness.There are forecasts which provide UV ratings for a particular day.

There are many factors that can increase the likelihood of exposure to UV levels including:

  • time of day (typically higher between 10am and 2pm / 11am and 3pm Daylight Savings Time)
  • time of year (typically higher from mid-August to the end of April)
  • cloud coverage (can still be high on a cloudy day)
  • altitude (increases with altitude)
  • reflective surfaces (water, snow, sand, grass can increase exposure)
  • location (higher UV levels can be experienced across different geographic locations)

The good news is that the damage caused by UV exposure is easily preventable if individuals and organisations take measures to reduce the risk factors that expose us to UV radiation.

The VicSport website includes as a section on UV Protection, actions for clubs including a shade assessment, signage and monitoring of UV exposure.

Link: UV Exposure and Heat Illness Guide

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.

Link: Vicsport Hot Weather Resources

The correct protective equipment, for both children and adults, helps to promote athlete safety and well being and reduce risk of injuries.Many sports have rules that govern compulsory equipment which may change for different age groups, skill levels and may be sport specific.

Link: Protective Equipment - Mouthguards

Clubs should consider across their age groups and skill levels, what additional protective equipment might be relevant, as well as accessing their national body guidelines.Signage about the correct use of protection equipment to remind participants of their importance can also assist in ensuring the equipment is always used.

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