Heat affects many at local tennis tournament

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News 12 at 11 o'clock, August 19, 2007

Even with plenty of water on hand and a huge supply of ice, dehydration was still a problem this weekend at the Georgia State Mixed Doubles Championship.

"The heat was devastating," Tournament Director, Dick Hatfield said.

Four players went to the hospital for heat exhaustion and many players like Kalyn Lewis had to default their tennis match.

"I'm in the office all day and in the air conditioning and haven't been able to play much tennis. Just started getting muscle tightening, couldn't breathe, and then all of a sudden getting nauseous and sick," Lewis said.

Tournament organizers worked around the clock to keep more than 1,000 players from across Georgia cool.

"We've done just about everything we possibly can. You can't make people be responsible. They've got to be responsible for themselves to a certain degree," Hatfield said.

Athletic trainers and tournament volunteers were on hand with water, ice, misting fans, and cold towels to keep fans and players safe from heat related injuries.

According to Athletic Trainer, Lisa Adkins, "You can't just come out and expect to drink water and Gatorade while playing. It all is beforehand as well."

Adkins said the key is to keep plenty of fluids in your body both on and off the court, and stay away from alcoholic beverages and sodas which cause dehydration.

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