UAE research to help fight dehydration
Doha, February 4, 2013
A research document issued in Doha following a study of volunteers working at some of the ME region’s top motor sport events could help organisers worldwide provide better protection for marshals and officials from the risk of dehydration.
The report is based on extensive scientific research carried out by the Automobile & Touring Club of the UAE in conjunction with its academic partners at the University of Ulster, one of the UK’s top learning and research institutes.
The study, named ‘Research of hydration health & safety issues of motorsport volunteers and officials working in high temperatures’, was presented to senior officials attending today’s assembly of the Mena national motor sport authorities by Dr Mohammed Ben Sulayem, president of the ATCUAE and FIA vice president for sport.
Jean Todt, president of the FIA, said: “Working in extreme heat is very challenging and the safety of our volunteers is our number one priority. We were, of course, aware of risks associated with working in extreme conditions, but our research reveals some striking facts that will now be addressed urgently in order to ensure the safety of volunteer officials.”
“As the findings and recommendations of the study are not limited to motor sport, or restricted to the Middle East, they will be distributed worldwide for the benefit of any sporting organisation that requires its staff to work in high temperature conditions.”
“I believe the study will have a big social impact, and it is our intention to share the results of the research with the relevant government ministries, so that the maximum amount of people will benefit,” he added.
Showing the UAE as a leader in the field of sports science research, it highlights dehydration as a problem affecting motor sport marshals in the Middle East, and in other parts of the world, because of intense heat, lack of shade and long hours.
The research was carried out last year in the UAE during the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge in April, the 2012 F1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November, and the Dubai International Rally.
Up to 86 per cent of marshals at the Desert Challenge, 61 per cent of those working on the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and 54 per cent of the volunteers for the Dubai Rally were shown to be suffering from dehydration.
The main findings of the study are backed up by strong recommendations that the region’s national motor sport authorities, and their chief medical officers, offer structured advice to help marshals combat the risks of dehydration.
Funded in part by the FIA Foundation’s Motor Sport Safety Development Fund, the study was conducted by the ATCUAE’s research division, the Motorsport Knowledge Institute, and a team of researchers from the University of Ulster.
The Ulster team was led by Dr Gareth Davison BA, Msc, PhD, one of the leading international authorities on the issue of dehydration, who worked closely with Dr Sean Petherbridge MD, chief medical officer of the ATCUAE. – TradeArabia News Service