Hockey players to get sun warning

HOCKEY NSW will be targeting UV exposure and sun damage this weekend as part of an education program with its members on the dangers of “Australia’s cancer”, melanoma.

The annual FHE Country v City Challenge takes place in Lithgow on Saturday.

Hockey NSW and its partners Donate4Kate: The Kate Philp Melanoma Research Fund and Melanoma Institute Australia will be raising awareness of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and ways for players to protect themselves from the sun’s potentially harmful UV rays.

Hockey NSW president Jeff McEwen is conscious of the risks that players take when they are exposed to nature’s fiercest conditions.

“Hockey players compete outdoors, right throughout the year.

"Hockey NSW is committed to increasing awareness amongst our members – whether they are players, officials or the broader supporter community – of the need to protect against UV exposure and sun damage,” he said.

“The FHE Country v City Challenge is our first outdoor championships of the 2011 field hockey season and we are targeting everyone this weekend to make them aware of ways to protect themselves in the sun.

“Our youngest competitors this weekend are in the under-13 age group and our oldest in the under-21 age group (male and female).

"These competitors are in the most influential age groups.

"Not only because of their exposure to sun when competing in sports and when socialising with their friends, but also for making choices about their appearance and their personal safety.”

Donate4Kate is actively involved in raising awareness and supporting the work of Melanoma Institute Australia.

Melanoma Institute Australia is a non-profit organisation dedicated to preventing and curing melanoma.

Jo Dolan is an active member of the Hockey NSW Veteran Women’s Committee and co-ordinator of the fund.

Her daughter, Kate Philp, was only 22 when she lost her battle with melanoma.

“Kate was a goalkeeper for the Duval Hockey Club, with the Hockey New England Association,” Dolan said.

“I want to make sure that all hockey players are armed with the knowledge of the risks, but also how they can protect themselves.

“Hockey NSW has over 27,000 members and this weekend is the first of many championships across NSW where we can begin to raise awareness.”

For information on the FHE Country v City Challenge including teams, championships draw and results contact Lauren Ventura, Hockey NSW on 02 9764 1911.

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