Ultraviolet (UV) Protection
Every day, sport and physical activity is enjoyed by many Victorians. It takes place in a variety of settings, including outdoors, which exposes individuals to a range of different conditions including ultraviolet (UV) radiation. During sport, players, officials and spectators can be exposed to excessive levels of UV radiation that can cause skin and eye damage, sunburn and skin cancer. While many people already take steps to protect themselves from the sun, it is important that clubs also work to minimise the risk from UV exposure during sport.
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.
Individuals can reduce the risk of UV exposure by adopting protection measures that reduce the risk of harmful UV to their skin and eyes.
Sporting organisations can make it easier for their players, volunteers, spectators and community to adopt these UV protection measures by encouraging good UV protection behaviour, promoting and creating awareness around the risk of harmful UV exposure, and then adopting UV protection strategies within their clubs to ensure the best measures are taken to minimise the risk of UV exposure.
During 2011 to 2015, Victoria’s nine Regional Sporting Assemblies supported over 200 rural and regional community sporting clubs to provide an environment that supports and encourages appropriate UV protection behaviour, as part of the VicHealth Healthy Sporting Environments Program. This program supported clubs to implement practical actions, supported by resources (fact sheets, templates, guidelines, and websites) and examples from within sport.
“Many clubs consider UV protection easy to implement due to high existing levels of community awareness” (Healthy Sporting Environments evaluation)
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