Sale Tennis Club has commenced the new season of tennis with an eye to preventing their members from becoming heat affected.  Through the VicHealth Healthy Sporting Environments (HSE) program, the club has reviewed policies relating to the management and prevention of injury to ensure everyone enjoys a great tennis season.

Sale Tennis Club, with the help of GippSport’s Wellington Program Coordinator, Dawn Martin, is working its way through the Injury Management and Prevention module of the VicHealth HSE program. According to Dawn their participation in the program will go a long way towards educating their members about ways they can protect themselves from heat related illnesses and ensure they keep hydrated.

“People can become lightheaded, dizzy, nauseous, show fatigue or loss of skill when they experience head exhaustion. Factors that increase the risk of heat illness include lack of fitness, the age of the participant – juniors and veterans being more susceptible and dehydration,” Dawn commented.

As a part of the program Sale Tennis Club has made sure players have opportunities to have breaks and seek shade and participants are encouraged to wear hats and drink plenty of water. The club also has a heat policy.

The President for the Sale Tennis Club Robin Lowe said that the program has been really beneficial for his club. “We are very conscious of the need to ensure our members remain healthy through the summer months when heat illnesses can occur. Being a part of the (HSE) program has provided the club with the resources to educate members about avoiding becoming distressed by the heat.”

The club has also upgraded some of their shade coverage at their own cost. They are also waiting on the outcome of grant application from Wellington Shire Council to replace and repair other shade areas. The club has also installed a water fountain. A small grant from Southern Rural Water went towards the cost of this item.

Sports Medicine Victoria website – can provide valuable resources for sports clubs such as fact sheets and policy guidelines relating to heat.

With the tennis season and other summer sports upon us, key points for clubs who are looking to implement sun protection measures are:

  • Develop or/and promote your Heat Protection Policy
  • Water is available to everyone and participants are encouraged to drink frequently.
  • Regular breaks are encouraged when temperatures are high.
  • Participants are encouraged to wear hats
  • Shade is available.
  • Warm up activities are reduced.
  • Coaches and team manages monitor participants for heat stress.