Sun Smart Policy

The NSW Sabot Sailing Association (NSWSSA) is an organisation committed to the development of junior sailors. It encourages participation and skills development for all sabot sailors, creating an active community of family and peer support for its members.

Health and safety is an integral part of the NSWSSA’s program for young sailors. Sailing is by necessity a sport which exposes its participants to the elements. As awareness of the impact of long-term exposure to UV rays grows, the NSWSSA wishes to adopt a clear policy to ensure that any risk of long term skin damage to young sailors who participate in its programs is minimised.

Why we need a policy

  • The NSWSSA includes the youngest regular sailors in the region. Competitive sailing in sabots starts at the age of five years old, and children graduate from the class at sixteen. In the climate of Southern NSW, these are important years for protection against the sun, both in terms of the vulnerability of young skin and eyes to damage, and the habits set at this stage for a lifetime.
  • The SunSmart message is also important for the parents and other volunteers who support the sailors in this class. It is vital for their own health, as well as to set an example for the young sailors.
  • The NSWSSA plays a leadership role in the running of competitions for young sailors amongst regional clubs which include sabots in their fleets. It is important for the Association to set an example.
  • Clear policies provide a framework for the Association to communicate important health messages about potential for skin damage, skin cancer and damage to the eyes to its members and other members of the sailing community.
  • Simple procedures and guidelines can make a significant difference in ensuring that young sailors are adequately protected from the sun before and during races.

To whom the policy applies
This policy applies to Sailors, Officials, Administrators, Volunteers and Spectators.

What we want to achieve

By implementing this policy, the NSWSSA will :

  • Ensure that its junior members are fully informed about the health consequences of exposing skin and eyes to the sun.
  • Ensure that parents and adult organisers have sufficient information to communicate these health risks to sailors and to take appropriate steps for their own protection.
  • Increase the use of appropriate sun protective clothing, sunscreen and sunglasses by all sabot sailors.
  • Decrease the incidence of immediate skin damage – sunburn
  • Set an example for clubs in the district in terms of management of health risks from exposure to the sun by young sailors.