To help your sports club develop a positive sun protection culture and protect all involved we’ve developed some resources. This will help you meet your duty of care, and lead to future reductions in skin cancer rates.
1. Sun protection times – app, widget and UV meters
The free SunSmart Global UV app and widget tell you when sun protection is recommended for your location using forecast information from the Bureau of Meteorology website and live UV data from ARPANSA.
Promote the SunSmart app, and place the SunSmart widget on your club or association’s website, so that your whole community knows when they need to Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide.
UV meters give an accurate, visible and local measure of UV radiation in real time, making them a unique educational and safety tool to prompt sun protection use.
2. Sun protection FAQs for club/association newsletters and websites
Please use the content below as you see fit in your newsletters and communications to participants. We encourage you to use your own photos and please refer to our top tips for your specific sport.
What is ultraviolet (UV) radiation and why is it dangerous?
UV radiation is invisible, high-energy radiation from the sun. It isn’t like the sun’s light which we can see or heat which we can feel. By the time you can feel sunburn, your skin has already been damaged. UV is the main cause of sunburn, tanning, premature ageing and skin cancer.
When should you use sun protection?
As a general rule of thumb, in Victoria sun protection is required from mid-August to the end of April.
When UV levels are low (typically from May to August in Victoria), sun protection is not recommended unless you’re outdoors training and competing for extended periods. At very low levels of UV, extended time outdoors can be dangerous as UV exposure adds up over time. The more exposure you get, the greater your risk of skin damage.
If your training session or competition means you’re outdoors for a few hours, it’s recommended you use sun protection regardless of the UV levels and sun protection times.
It wasn’t hot, so why did I get sunburnt?
The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation – not heat – is the main cause of sunburn and skin cancer. It’s a myth that high temperatures are to blame. There can be high UV even on cool and cloudy days. And UV and temperature usually peak at different times of day. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the sun protection times based on the UV levels rather than relying on temperature.
Is there such a thing as ‘windburn’?
Strong wind can cause irritation, but it doesn’t actually burn your skin. The red, stinging and peeling ‘burn’ people sometimes blame on the wind is actually a result of UV damage.
I’ve had a lot of UV exposure over the years, is it too late?
While you can’t undo the damage that’s been done, you can stop damage from getting worse. Skin cancer can be deadly but it’s also one of the most preventable cancers and it’s never too late. Using sun protection will reduce your risk at any age, no matter if you are 6 months or 60 years old.
3. Templates for SunSmart communication
To help you communicate the importance of sun protection to your participants, please use our templates as a guide.
Slip Slop Slapping at <sport name>
With our training and competitions getting into full swing, it’s important to make sure that all of our players, coaches, officials and spectators are properly protected from the sun. <Insert club/organisation name> takes sun protection seriously, and we would like our members to enjoy <sport name> while being sun safe.
Sun protection is important as nearly all skin cancers are preventable. We also know that spending extended time in the sun and getting sunburnt, especially in the first 15 years of life, increases the risk of developing skin cancer. To reduce the risk of skin damage and skin cancer, Cancer Council recommends following five SunSmart steps during sun protection times (even on cold and cloudy days):
<insert top tips for sun protection advice specific to your sport>
<insert where to find sun protection policy and tips on your website>
Stay on top of sun protection times
The free SunSmart app tells you when sun protection is recommended for your location and shows current UV levels. Download it from Google Play and the App Store so you know when to cover up. But remember, if you’re outdoors for more than a few hours, sun protection should be used regardless of UV levels as damage can occur due to prolonged exposure.
Maximise your winning streak … minimise UV
You can’t be playing in top form if you’re suffering from sunburn. Make sure you use sun protection when you’re out on the field/pitch/court/in the pool to keep you match ready/competitive for all play/events.
Remember to SLIP on covering clothing, SLOP on SPF30 (or higher) broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, SLAP on a sun-protective hat, SEEK shade whenever possible and SLIDE on sunglasses (labelled AS1067).
Don’t let UV beat you.
4. SunSmart pre-recorded announcements
Play SunSmart’s pre-recorded public announcements over a loudspeaker or PA system during your sports event to remind players and patrons to be SunSmart.
5. Sun protection policy
Organisations conducting sport and recreation have a duty of care and legal responsibility to ensure a safe environment for all involved. Providing a safe environment includes protecting people from the sun’s UV radiation and ensuring participants are aware of the need to protect their skin wherever practicable. Visit the sun protection policy page.