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CAN­CER Coun­cil NSW is part­ner­ing with for­mer PGA Tour player Paul Gow to en­cour­age golfers to re­duce their skin can­cer risk by us­ing sun pro­tec­tion every time they play through the Im­prove Your Long Game pro­gram.

Co-funded by the Can­cer In­sti­tute NSW, the pro­gram sup­ports par­tic­i­pat­ing golf clubs to help keep mem­bers pro­tected from the sun by pro­vid­ing in­for­ma­tion re­sources and free sun­screen pump stands on the course, with a re­minder for golfers to ap­ply and re-ap­ply sun­screen.

Gow is lead­ing the field by stay­ing sun-safe and en­cour­ag­ing all golfers to prac­tice good sun pro­tec­tion both on and off the course.

“Over the years, golf has given me some of the great­est ex­pe­ri­ences of my life,” the FoxS­ports pre­sen­ter said. “Above all, it’s about hav­ing good times with my mates and fam­ily. For us blokes over 40, it’s re­ally im­por­tant that we look af­ter our­selves to make sure we can keep hav­ing those good times for many years to come.

“It’s never too late, that’s why Im­prove your long game and good sun pro­tec­tion ben­e­fits ev­ery­one. I make sun pro­tec­tion a part of my game prep; check­ing I have all the right gear com­plete with a hat, sun­glasses, sun­screen, and long sleeves. Make sun pro­tec­tion part of your game too.”

Can­cer Coun­cil NSW’s Skin Can­cer Pre­ven­tion Man­ager, Liz King, said men over the age of 40 are 1.5 times more likely to be di­ag­nosed with melanoma, and around twice as likely to die from it, com­pared to women of a sim­i­lar age.

“Recre­ational golfers spend ex­tended pe­ri­ods of time out­doors in an en­vi­ron­ment that has min­i­mal shade and is highly re­flec­tive of UV from sur­round­ing sur­faces like grass, sand and wa­ter,” she said.

“Un­pro­tected sun ex­po­sure puts them at high risk of sun­burn, skin dam­age and skin can­cer. It’s im­por­tant to have a sun pro­tec­tion rou­tine in place and fol­low­ing the ex­am­ple of sports­peo­ple like Paul Gow is a great place to start.”

In most parts of NSW, UV lev­els are high enough to re­quire sun pro­tec­tion for most of the year. Can­cer Coun­cil NSW en­cour­ages golfers to wear long-sleeved cloth­ing (slip), ap­ply sun­screen (slop), wear a broad brimmed hat (slap), find shade wher­ever pos­si­ble (seek), and wear sun­glasses (slide) each and every time they are out on the course.

“Through Im­prove your long game, Can­cer In­sti­tute NSW and Can­cer Coun­cil NSW are en­cour­ag­ing golfers to fol­low Paul’s lead to pro­tect their skin from UV ra­di­a­tion,” Can­cer In­sti­tute NSW Di­rec­tor of Screen­ing and Pre­ven­tion, Sarah McGill said. “It’s fan­tas­tic to see Paul Gow as a great role model and cham­pion for pro­mot­ing and en­cour­ag­ing pos­i­tive sun pro­tec­tion be­hav­iours for all golfers in NSW.”

In 2018, more than 100 clubs across NSW will par­tic­i­pate in the Im­prove Your Long Game pro­gram, and show com­mit­ment to im­prov­ing the sun safety of their mem­bers.

For more in­for­ma­tion on skin can­cer pre­ven­tion and Im­prove Your Long Game, visit www.can­cer­coun­cil.com.au/longgame

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