Heat policies enacted by Stawell sporting clubs

STAWELL - Dangerous conditions brought about by extreme temperatures forced several sporting events to be abandoned last week in and around Stawell.

As with many other areas across the state, the heat wave delivered temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius for four consecutive days, making it too dangerous for sporting events to proceed.

While there were four consecutive days above 40 degrees last week Monday's temperature only just fell short, being recorded at 39.4 degrees.

Health authorities warn that in this scorching weather, it is important to minimise the effects of heat which is dry heat.

Heat-related stress can lead to impaired player performance such as dizziness, headaches, collapses and illness, and in its extreme form, heat can become life threatening.

Heat policies are in place around all of Victoria, limiting sporting participation if and when temperatures soar.

The Stawell Leisure Complex was last week forced to cancel some of its regular activities due to the heat.

"Generally we get sent policies by the peak of each sporting body that we put in place," Stawell Leisure Complex manager Marc Brilliant said.

"However, it happens very rarely. These are freak weather conditions."

The Leisure Complex was fortunate in that it has limited sports running during the school holiday period, meaning nothing too significant had to be cancelled or postponed.

"Basketball Victoria sent through their heat policy stating no play if the court reached 40 degrees," Mr Brilliant said.

"It got to 49 degrees in the basketball stadium on Tuesday, so it was pretty hot."

Instead of taking to the court for training, both the male and female Wildcats teams opted for the swimming pool.

Since the devasting fires ignited in both the Grampians and Black Ranges, the Stawell Leisure Complex has been set up as a relief centre. The complex was able to return to normal on Sunday night as families were cleared to head back home to their properties in the Grampians.

In other sports such as football, the Stawell Westlift Warriors continued with their pre-season training, with short sessions on both the Monday and Wednesday night last week.

Unlike basketball there is no set temperature in football to determine when or if training should be abandoned.

The Australian Rules National Extreme weather policy's focus is predominately on keeping players safe as well as putting the onus on clubs to ensure that extra precautionary actions are being taken.

Stawell coach Brad Cassidy said his players were still put through their paces during the heat wave.

"The boys trained in the heat," he said.

"The sessions were shorter and the intensity not as high, but they still trained.

"All of the players got through fine. Obviously we take extra measures to keep them hydrated, but apart from additional water and ice, everything was relatively normal."

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