Catherine Hayes, IPB Insurance 

One of the biggest challenges for sports clubs during the winter and spring can be simply getting members to maintain their fitness and
training schedule. Even the most dedicated athletes can find it hard to leave the couch on cold, dark, wet, evenings but poor weather is no excuse not to keep active, as the old Irish saying goes, ‘You’re not a Disprin, you won’t dissolve!’ However, it’s not just waning levels of motivation you have to contend with, participating in sport during bad weather brings its own unique risks.

Cold conditions cause heat loss which places additional strain on the body. When your core body temperature drops, you use up more energy and ultimately impair your sporting performance. Sprains and strains are more likely in colder weather because cold muscles and connective tissue have less elasticity and are therefore more prone to injury. The most commonly reported accidents from athletes are falls and trips which become much more likely when performance and agility are compromised by the cold and fatigue.  Darkness, wet blustery weather, poor visibility and slippery terrain all make training more dangerous.

Injuries and accidents can often be prevented with a little planning, preparation and the correct clothing, footwear and equipment. Unfortunately, despite taking precautions, your members could still sustain an injury. Seemingly minor accidents can result in lower and upper body fractures, dislocation of joints, tearing of ligaments and sprains which may require attendance at an emergency department, physiotherapy, hospitalisation and even surgery. Injuries can take weeks to heal and be very costly. Even a small accident could prevent your members from working and lead to loss of income for weeks or months.

One crucial part of your preparations as an NGB should be to ensure that you and your members are fully protected from potential accidents by having the right personal accident insurance. Personal accident insurance provides members with an income if they are unable to work because of an accident. National Governing Bodies and sport clubs can purchase this insurance on behalf of their members and include it as part of their standard annual subscription with significant potential savings being achieved by purchasing as a group. Alternatively, individual sports participants can take out this insurance themselves.

The Federation of Irish Sport offers a new group insurance scheme specifically designed for National Governing Bodies, sports clubs and individuals.  All members can benefit from improved levels of cover and reduced insurance rates. So to make sure that you and your members are fully protected throughout the year contact Conn Mc Cluskey, Federation of Irish Sport on 01-6251155, or click here for more information: