As Penrith sweats so do passionate futsal athletes playing at the AFA Nationals

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Australian Futsal Association

With temperatures close to 40 degrees, spare a thought for the dedicated athletes competing in the Australian Futsal National titles at the Penrith Sports Centre this week.

Instead of seeking ways to cool down or visiting the local pool, a record number of 500 players have been competing all week in the stifling heat.

However Australian Futsal Association media manager Bronte Davy said the extreme temperatures didn’t stop the players from having a good time.

“Athletes are going great – it is very tough this year with the heat – they’re coping very well and they’re really passionate so they just want to get out there and play,” Davy said.

“We’re currently up to the finals and competition is fierce with the top four teams within four points of each other.

“The stadium is absolutely roaring. People are enjoying themselves,clapping their hands, stomping their feet – so it’s hot but the atmosphere is absolutely amazing.”

Having held the competition in Penrith previously, Davy said they had found ways to try and keep the players cool in the hot centre.

Players of the Sydney West Team taking a break on the bench. Source:News Limited

Players of the Sydney West Team taking a break on the bench. Source:News Limited

“We are going through ice quicker than we can make more which is a bit difficult,” she said.

“The canteen is helping a lot and looking after us with lots of frozen drinks. The lemonade icy poles are flying out the door.

“The referees are doing their part to help. The games go for 40 minutes with 18 minute halves but they are getting drink breaks each quarter.

“Coaches are also keeping it in mind and watching their kids very closely throughout the game, and rotating their subs as much as possible so that they can have breaks.”

Scott Lockhart, 15, plays for NSW North and agreed that the heat was not going to take the fun out of the competition.

“It’s still fun to play but it’s a bit too hot. We have an ice bucket with washers in there and use them to wash our faces with ice cold water. This is my first time in Penrith but the competition is really fun and I like it.”

HOW TO STAY COOL PLAYING SPORT:

“We make sure to tell the kids to drink lots of water, avoid citrus fruits that tends to dehydrate you, instead have grapes or bananas, sugar things to keep your spirits and energy levels up,” Davy said.

“It’s a lot easier to deal with the heat if you have a positive frame of mind.”

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