The UK's first sun safety course has launched

UK’s first sun safety course launches for sports and outdoor industry professionals

The Melanoma Fund, the UK's leading provider of sun protection resources for individuals, sports groups and outdoor clubs, has launched the UK's first sun safety course, ahead of Sun Awareness Week 6th - 9th May 2024. Designed to elevate standards in sun safety education and skin cancer prevention, the course will target those at the highest risk in the sports and outdoor sector. 

The free online course, Sunguarding: Sun and heat protection for sports and outdoor recreation, is developed especially for those who work with people outdoors, from aspiring to existing professionals. 

Using practical strategies and insights, it provides the knowledge and skills required to mitigate the risks of UV exposure, ensuring the safety and well-being of sports and outdoor activity leaders, professionals and participants. 

Created by experts, in collaboration with leading universities and prominent national governing bodies,  the course is accredited by CIMSPA and the Institute of Outdoor Learning and gives accreditation upon completion. Providing 3 CPD points, it has been shared for use as a key resource for leading sports and outdoor organisations, including the PGA, UK Coaching, the LTA, the Association of Physical Education, Premier Education and Mountain Training England, among many others.  

This course will go out to all PGA Members and Trainees via the Associations’ online learning platform, PGA Learn,” commented Mark Skinner, Head of Business and Management Department, PGA. “Our Members are at an increased risk of UV exposure and this engaging, interactive and credible resource provides practical tips and the knowledge and confidence to lead by example, inspiring others at their golf facility to protect themselves too. No matter how much you think you may know about sun and heat protection, you’ll learn something new and valuable.” 

First in universities

Until now, sun and heat protection have not been integrated into the university syllabus for students studying sports and outdoor recreation. However, this paradigm is shifting, as the Melanoma Fund’s course will be available in a flexible PowerPoint format, designed specifically for lecturers, enabling them to weave it into the syllabi. 

When approached to get involved, I was astonished by the lack of educational resources on sun protection for the sports and outdoor sector across all levels, and I embraced the opportunity to collaborate. This course will ignite conversations around sun and heat safety practices, empowering coaches to not only protect our athletes, but foster a culture where responsible behaviour becomes second nature,” said Dr. Phil Brown, Plymouth Marjon University.

Leading by example

To inspire behavioural change, the course uses a unique approach that calls on influential individuals such as professional sportspeople, coaches, activity group leaders and parents – to champion sun protection, by modelling healthy habits themselves. Leading by example is a move that aims to protect leaders, whilst inspiring others in a way that is more powerful and impactful than instruction, demonstrating responsibility and fostering genuine impact.

"In light of the rising incidence of skin cancer in the UK, and the growing frequency of extreme heat during summer months, it is imperative for the sports and outdoor recreation sector to proactively 'sunguard' outdoor activities. 

This becomes even more pressing considering the heightened expectations from UK Sport to national governing bodies to demonstrate a robust commitment to health and safety protocols. With existing support from these organisations, our materials are well positioned to provide an effective solution," said Michelle Baker, CEO, Melanoma Fund.

Share this