At the end of a sweltering November in 2019, the Katherine women's football team was bracing for a brutal test of physical and mental strength as they headed onto a field already burning beneath the morning sun.
Temperatures were predicted to soar to 43 degrees and a swathe of measures were put in place to ensure players didn't overheat.
The quarters ran for 16 minutes flat with no time on for the Women's Premier League.
Playing quarters were reduced to 15 minutes for the Under 18 boys and girls game, breaks were extended and the teams were allowed to leave the field to seek out shade and use the coolrooms.
The relentless heatwave that year was one which broke records. It threatened games and put players through their paces, and a new report has found that could soon be the norm.
The report from the Climate Council - "Game, Set, Match: Calling Time on Climate Inaction - has raised the alarm on rising global temperatures amid the continued burning of fossil fuels.
Released yesterday, the report declares the climate crisis "poses an existential threat to the future of sport".
"Climate change - driven mainly by burning fossil fuels and land clearing - is worsening extreme weather in Australia, playing havoc with both elite and grassroots-level sport," the report's researchers - spearheaded by Dr Martin Rice - say.
"Australia's beloved summer sports calendar, which includes Big Bash League cricket, AFL games, the Tour Down Under cycling race, the Australian Open tennis, A and W-League football and community sports is under threat from climate change.
"None of Australia's major future focused sports reports discuss the growing threat of climate change on the $50 billion a year industry."
The report points out that the number of heatwave days experienced by the Northern Territory capital have more than doubled, and that by 2040, heatwaves in Sydney and Melbourne could reach highs of 50 degrees.
The consensus is, if temperatures continue to rise "Australian sports will have to make significant changes, such as playing summer games in the evening or switching schedules to spring and autumn," the Climate Council's head of research and lead author, Dr Martin Rice said.
But Katherine already plays the majority of its games in the cooler temperatures of the evening.
Sharon Jennings is a resident heavily involved in Katherine's rugby union and also the 2020 Young Citizen of the Year.
She said the measures pointed to in the report have long been in Katherine's repertoire to beat the extreme heat.
"80 minutes of rugby in Katherine regardless of whether it's played in the middle of the day or at night, is hot," she said.
"But when you go through a 43 degree day and get to night time and it's only 36 degrees - that's a big difference."
Evening games have been the guardian of continued sport in Katherine for as long as she can remember, allowing players to get involved safely.
"We tend to avoid that 11am - 3pm playing time because the temperatures would just be too much."
Katherine's Big Rivers Football League season is also ruled by the heat, starting early in the year and playing through the 'cooler' dry season.
"We commence the season early to try to avoid as much of the build-up as possible," Leigh Elder, community football manager of AFLNT said.
"Approximately 50 per cent of [our] games in the Big Rivers Football League are played at night, under lights, to make use of the cooler conditions."
She said the AFL, AFLNT and BRFL don't hesitate to implement "clear extreme weather policies" aimed at minimising the risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
When the temperature reaches 36 digress players are allowed longer breaks, clubs can move off the oval to find shade for all game breaks, quarter lengths are reduced and there are more water bottles running on and off the field.
Earlier in 2019, mere months into one of the region's driest years, a group of sport clubs from Katherine called for urgent action to fix and water a hardened and dusty playing field.
Parents said they were concerned their children would trip, tumble and end up concussed.
"Sport is an important contributor to the social fabric of many communities, and yet in times of drought and water restrictions, participation can become extremely challenging," the report states.
"Australia's leading amateur sports insurance underwriter, Sportscover, noted an increase in the number of shoulder injuries due to harder, rain-parched grounds.
"While elite professional venues may be able to afford expensive upgrades, local grounds often struggle."
Following the report's release, high profile athletes have emerged, calling on greater climate action and the protection of the multi-billion dollar industry.
"Australia punches above its weight in sport, winning gold and topping podiums, but we're falling behind on climate action," former Wallabies captain, David Pocock said.
"This is the greatest challenge we have ever faced and, while our politicians love to delay taking serious climate action while reminding us that we have a relatively small population, we are a country used to punching above our weight.
"We've seen that time and again from our sporting heroes on the world stage. It's time for athletes, sporting organisations and all of us to use that power, to step up, speak up and lead the transformation to a better future for all of us.
"If we take that attitude, and the wealth of resources at our disposal, we can rise to the challenge and face this together. We can build a future where we all thrive."
Amy Steel, a professional netballer whose decade-long career suddenly ended in 2016, after suffering a heat stroke is among those demanding greater climate action.
"I was physically the fittest and strongest I had ever been. I never could have imagined this would be the last game I'd play, that it would end my netball career," she said.
"That incident left me with lifelong health issues, including chronic inflammation and fatigue. If this could happen to me - an elite athlete - then what are the risks for community sporting clubs, as climate change makes heatwaves longer, hotter and more frequent?"
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