Hot Weather Tips for Clubs
Summer sport is a whole different ball game. The hot weather can make training and games very uncomfortable. At worst, it can cause heat stroke, dehydration and heat exhaustion among players, officials and spectators.
Use these tips as a guide to help provide a duty of care for your club community. For more detailed advice, approach your League or Association, or check out the Sports Medicine Australia Hot Weather Guidelines.
Rain, hail or shine the show must go on? Not always! Many local sporting clubs have Hot Weather Policies in place to keep members, visitors and officials safe in the sun.
If you don’t have a club policy, consider approaching your League or Association to see if there are any existing guidelines in place.
PROVIDE PLENTY OF WATER
Even a small degree of dehydration will cause a decrease in performance. It can also lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Encourage members and visitors to stay hydrated by providing tap water free of charge and making regular announcements about the importance of drinking water.
TAKE MORE BREAKS
When the temperature reaches over 31 degrees Celsius, the risk of heat illness is high to very high.
Understand the symptoms of heat stress and consider modifying your game or training session to allow for more breaks and a limited intensity. This includes rotating referees and players as much as possible.
If the mercury hits over 36 degrees’ clubs should consider cancelling or postponing the match to a cooler part of the day.
LOOK OUT FOR JUNIORS
Coaches should be aware of the different ways that juniors react and respond to hot weather. Young kids are especially at risk of the heat and can take longer than adults to acclimatise to exercise in the heat.
Help to protect juniors by limiting training and intense exercise with kids while its hot.
ENCOURAGE SUNSMART BEHAVIOUR
We all know the facts; Australians are at high risk of sunburn and skin cancers. Local clubs have an important role to play in minimising the damage from the hot sun.
Provide plenty of shade and access to sunscreen (whether for sale at the canteen or for free use). Role-model the right behaviours by encouraging coaches and club leaders to wear hats and make regular sun smart announcements.