SunSmart sports

Everyone should be safe playing sport.

Playing sport outdoors is a great way to stay active and have fun. However, too much of the Sun's UV radiation can increase the risk of skin cancer. The good news is that we can protect ourselves, our teammates, and others involved in sport. 

Make your sport's activities SunSmart - Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap!

Know when sun protection is needed

  • Sun protection is recommended between 10am and 4pm from September to April, and when the UV Index is 3 or above. You can check the UV Index level for your location by downloading the free UVNZ app or checking out NIWA's site
  • Sun protection is also recommended from September to April when you are spending long periods outdoors. 
  • Remember, we can't see or feel UV radiation from the Sun. UV radiation can also travel through clouds, so be SunSmart even on a cool or cloudy day.

Provide adequate shade 

  • If shade is provided, people will use it. Make use of natural shade from trees or take portable shade like gazebos with you.

Provide sunscreen

  • Consider providing broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen of at least SPF30.
  • Competition sports uniforms often leave a lot of skin exposed. Remind participants to use at least 7 teaspoons of sunscreen for a full body application. Sunscreen must be applied every two hours or more often after swimming or sweating.
  • Remember to store sunscreen in the shade.

Promote SunSmart uniforms

  • Tops with sleeves and a collar provide better protection.
  • The head receives more UV radiation than any other part of the body. Where possible, include a bucket hat with a deep crown and brim (at least 6cm). If this is not possible, a cap and sunscreen will suffice. 
  • Encourage the use of wrap-around style sunglasses. 

Adopt a sun protection policy 

  • Introduce a sun protection policy specific to your sport that looks after everyone involved, from participants to volunteers such as umpires, lines people, and coaches. Visit Vic Sport or Cancer Council Australia for sample policies.
  • Rotate volunteers more frequently during the hours UV radiation is strongest (10am to 4pm, September through to April). Check the free UVNZ app for peak UV radiation times. 
  • Role model SunSmart behaviour. Senior players and coaches are important role models and one of the best ways to ensure a SunSmart culture is for junior players to see others being SunSmart.
  • Include information about sun protection in coaching courses.