Climate Council Suggest Australian Sport Will Need To Move Away From Summer

n a new report written by the Climate Council titled, “Game, Set, Match: Calling Time on Climate Inaction”, experts have warned Australia’s sporting summer is under real threat due to climate change.

The report states that by 2040, heatwaves in Sydney and Melbourne could reach highs of 50 degrees Celsius, deeming sport in summer virtually impossible to play.

Climate Council head of research and lead author, Dr. Martin Rice, said switching to an autumn or spring season for all codes is a real possibility.

“No athlete, whether an elite professional or a community player, is immune to our increasingly hot summers, which are a health hazard for those playing and watching sport,” Dr. Rice said.

“Sporting clubs and codes can rapidly cut their own greenhouse gas emissions by changing the way they build venues, power events, travel, and by cutting waste.

“Professional and community sports can also switch sponsorship from fossil fuel-backed companies to ones that invest in climate solutions,” he said.

The Australian sporting calendar is very compact, with the Big Bash League (BBL) and test cricket, AFLW, the Australian Open, and A-League and W-League competitions currently taking place over summer.

Elsewhere, the University of Sydney’s Thermal Ergonomics Laboratory have provided Sports Medicine Australia with evidence-based guidance to protect the health of those participating in all summer sport and physical activity across Australia, in their own new heat policy.

Professor at the University of Sydney, Ollie Jay, said the report highlights previously unidentified safety measures for competitors.

“This updated policy eliminates blind spots of temperature and humidity that are present in the previous guidelines, and also provides protection under conditions that often occur in Australia that are very hot but dry, yet induce potentially dangerous levels of sweating and physiological strain during exercise,” Jay said.

“The policy provides the latest evidence-based recommendations around what people can do to mitigate risk using cooling interventions and strategies that have been scientifically shown to work, as opposed to conventional wisdom,” he said.