Golfers urged to back skin cancer prevention scheme

The Slip! Slap! Swing! sun protection campaign for golf launched last year, and is back on this summer with a new challenge. The Melanoma Fund – the charity behind the campaign – aims to get 500 golf clubs in the UK and Ireland ‘Sun Protection Accredited’ in 2020.  

Supported by 11 leading golf organisations – including England Golf, the PGA and the R&A – its mission will be to transform sun protection in golf to tackle the rapid rise of melanoma and other forms of skin cancer within the sport.

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 the 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 preventable, and by becoming ‘Sun Protection Accredited’ golf clubs can help members and all staff improve their sun protection habits and knowledge. Supported with free resources and up-to-date advice, involvement is quick, easy and achieved by pledging five actions:

  1. Nominate a Sun Pro Ambassador; promoting the campaign to members/staff.
  2. Add a sun protection statement to Terms & Conditions of play/Health & Safety policy.
  3. Display awareness posters and promote the campaign internally, and externally on socials.
  4. Ensure sunscreen is available in the club, either for sale or for complimentary use.
  5. Display the Sun Protection Accreditation logo – both digitally and in the club

Golfers affected by all types of skin cancer have come forward to tell their stories, encouraging others to understand the reality of skin cancer and how it can affect anyone. They have also worked with the campaign’s ambassador, PGA Professional Jamie Cundy, to produce a number of short videos which will launch throughout June on social media. All participating clubs will receive free sunscreen and support in promoting their work, to help keep them motivated and sun savvy throughout the summer.

Michelle Baker, CEO of the Melanoma Fund, said:“Small, measurable actions by many, help create big impact, so if we can reach 500 golf clubs, we will help wake golf up to the issue, and achieve a massive strike against skin cancer this year.”

For further information, visit the Melanoma Fund’s Slip! Slap! Swing! campaign at #SlipSlapSwing20