Sport safety policies and practices in two rural Victorian communities

J Sci Med Sport. 2004 Jun;7(2):226-31. doi: 10.1016/s1440-2440(04)80013-6.


Australian football and netball are the predominant sports played in rural Victoria, Australia. This exploratory study is the first to report the sport safety policies and practices adopted by junior Australian football and netball clubs in small rural communities. Eleven informants from four clubs completed a semi-structured interview and survey. Whilst the clubs performed a range of injury prevention activities, they did not have formal sports safety policies. Generally, netball informants reported fewer safety practices than football informants. Crucial factors influencing safety policies and practices were the reliance on volunteers and a lack of senior players. Barriers towards the adoption of safety policies and practices appeared to be related to rural population declines, a lack of qualified people and attitudes to injury in rural areas. Future research needs to identify how widespread this lack of sport safety policies and practices is across rural Australia and to identify strategies to overcome barriers to implementing them.

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Health Behavior
  • Humans
  • Qualitative Research
  • Rural Population*
  • Safety Management / organization & administration*
  • Victoria