The Slip! Slap! Swing! sun protection campaign for golf launched in 2019, and this year introduced a Sun Protection Accreditation scheme, designed to be rolled out by golf clubs. Despite the complications of COVID, delaying the launch by a month, the charity is on target to generate involvement of over 200 accredited golf clubs.
Supported by every major golf organisation, including BIGGA, The RandA and Golf England, a team of golf industry ambassadors and countless golf unions, the campaign aims to transform sun protection in golf, to tackle the rapid rise of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer within the sport.
This year campaign has gone from strength to strength, gaining support not only from clubs, but also unions, golfing media and recent television coverage.
Say’s Michelle Baker, CEO of the Melanoma Fund; “We wanted to create a targeted campaign to protect all in golf. It is important to get people to develop healthy habits, with actions they can build into their daily routines – like flossing teeth. Golf clubs are the ideal place to promote awareness and educate their members and staff, providing prompts to act throughout summer.”
Rates of melanoma – the most dangerous form of skin cancer – have more than doubled in the UK in the last 30 years, with incidence in women having doubled (100% increase) and for men nearly tripled (181%). It is one of our fastest rising cancers, and although still higher in older people, rates in 25-49 year olds increased by 70% over the same period*. Global cases will reach nearly half a million (466,914) by 2040, an increase of 62% on 2018 figures.
Skin cancer is however preventable, and by becoming Sun Protection Accredited, clubs can help members and all staff improve their understanding to help create impact. Supported with free resources and up-to-date advice, involvement is quick, easy and achieved by pledging five actions:
- Nominate a Sun Pro Ambassador – promoting the campaign to members/staff.
- Add a sun protection statement to Terms & Conditions of play/Health & Safety policy.
- Display awareness posters and promote the campaign internally, and externally on socials.
- Ensure sunscreen is available in the club, either for sale or for complimentary use.
- Display the Sun Protection Accreditation logo – both digitally and in the club
To help smooth the fairway to success, the charity has been working with a team of ambassadors made up of golfers, caddies and top industry experts, all helping spread awareness. The charity is always looking for people passionate about creating change, or who have been touched by skin cancer, and that includes greenkeepers and ground staff.
Many of us need to improve our sun protection habits, and especially so if you work outside. If your club is not signed up, why not help facilitate involvement, keeping you and your colleagues sun savvy all summer.