Sun Safety For Club Sports In Australia

Sun safety is a critical part of every outdoor based sports club. Community sports clubs, and other organisations conducting sport and recreation, have a duty of care to ensure a safe environment for their members, including players, volunteers and officials. This includes protecting people from the suns UV radiation and making sure participants are aware of the need to be sun safe. Developing and implementing a robust sun protection policy is a crucial way to ensure this duty of care is provided by community sports clubs. 

Sun Protection Policies: A Necessity, Not an Option 

Sun protection policies should always consider the specific characteristics of the sport, members, physical environment and training and playing schedules. There are many helpful resources available to help clubs establish sun safety policies (e.g., Sun Smart sample policy). Sun Protection policies should include a range of measures, including these important ones: 

  • Sunscreen Stations: Make sunscreen readily available at the club premises. Encourage participants, coaches, and spectators to apply sunscreen before engaging in outdoor activities. Ask your coaches and managers to remind parents and players to apply sunscreen before training and games.  
  • Protective Clothing: Encourage for the use of sun-safe clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, hats, and leggings. Add specific sun-safe uniform options to your club’s uniform range and encourage your members to take these up.  Custom uniform designs provide plenty of flexibility on designing sun-safe uniform options that meld with your standard uniform.  
  • Shade Infrastructure: Ensure there is ample shade available for breaks and rest periods. Installing shade structures like shelters or umbrellas can significantly reduce direct exposure to the sun. If that’s not possible, ask volunteers and community members to bring umbrellas and portable sunshades to training and game days.  
  • Educational Campaigns: Raise awareness about the importance of sun protection through club communications like the newsletter and social media posts. Educate your coaches and ask them to regularly check in with players on sun-safety.   
  • Flexible Scheduling: Consider scheduling outdoor activities during times when UV radiation is less intense, typically in the early morning or late afternoon. 

When it comes to preventative behaviour, like applying sunscreen and wearing sub-safe uniforms, it is important there are role models within the club. If junior players see senior players, coaches, managers and other important members of the club following and encouraging sun-safe practices, they are much more likely to do so themselves.   

Sports clubs play a vital role in promoting physical activity and community building. By adopting and actively enforcing sun protection policies, our sports clubs will help support the long-term viability of outdoor sports in Australia. For help in developing a sun-safe uniform range for your sports club, contact the KPI Sports team today.