Ballarat Secondary College’s East campus is going under cover.
The Fussell Street school has received a $25,000 grant from Cancer Council’s Shade for Secondary Schools program.
Principal Simon Haber said they were currently getting quotes to erect a permanent structure in the school’s quadrangle.
It follows new Cancer Council data that shows 61 per cent of Australian teenagers spend at least half their time out in the open when they are outside in peak UV summer. Of those teenagers, 68 per cent said it wasn’t possible to do activities in the shade because there wasn’t any available.
The 2013-14 National Sun Protection Survey interviewed 6349 Australians, including 1061 adolescents aged 12 to 17.
Mr Haber said the new structure would provide shade and protection against the sun.
“Skin cancer is one of the most preventable cancers,” Mr Haber said. “As a school, we want to protect our staff and students by providing access to proper shade during school hours when UV levels peak.”
Cancer Council Victoria’s SunSmart manager Heather Walker said it was vital to help young people protect their skin from UV damage as many skin cancers appearing later in life are the result of adolescent UV exposure.
“Our skin is like a memory bank and remembers all the damage it has received over the years,” Ms Walker said. “Once the damage is there, it can’t be undone.
“By funding more shade structures in secondary schools, eftpos (the sponsor) is helping to reduce the overall amount of excess UV exposure teenagers receive. Initiatives like this also teach teenagers about preventing skin cancer – ultimately helping them reduce their risk.”
Ms Walker also reminded people to check the sun protection times daily via the SunSmart app and make sure you use sun protection during those times.
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