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J Sci Med Sport. 2000 Mar;3(1):9-16.

The safety practices of sporting clubs/centres in the city of Hume.

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School of Human Movement, Deakin University, Victoria, Australia.


Sports injuries are a significant public health problem in Australia. However, little information is available about community level sports injuries, or about the sports safety policies and practices of community level sports organisations in Australia. The aim of this paper is to present the results of a survey of local clubs and sporting centres in the City of Hume, a local council in Victoria. This is the first reported survey of safety practices of sporting clubs/centres at the community level in Australia. Sixty-four clubs/centres participated in the survey, which involved face-to-face interviews with representatives from the participating clubs/centres. A major finding was that whilst sports bodies perform certain activities typically associated with preventing sports injuries, they often do not have formal policies or written objectives which recognise the safety of their participants as an important goal. The sports safety measures reported to be adopted by the surveyed clubs/centres included use of protective equipment, accredited coaches, sports trainers, encouraging warm-ups, modified rules for juniors and checking of playing areas and facilities for environmental hazards. The provision of first aid services (including personnel and equipment) varied across the sporting clubs/centres. The major barriers towards improving sports safety were reported to be a lack of funds, the media's attitude towards sports injuries and the role of the local council as the owner of sporting facilities. There is also a clear role for researchers to improve the dissemination of key findings from their injury prevention research in a form that can be readily used at the grass roots of sports participation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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