Dallas, Texas - The American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Football League (NFL) have teamed up to launch a program that is designed to help promote physical activity and safe sport participation among youth.
The program, titled Back to Sports, is geared towards the parents and caregivers of upper elementary, middle and high school aged students who actively participate in sports or are considering it as an extra-curricular activity. Through an additional grant program that has been established, Back to Sports will engage with athletic trainers who will serve as expert facilitators to deliver sports safety information in up to 100 communities across the country this year.
The goal of Back to Sports is to increase awareness of the benefits of sports participation as a positive way for children to achieve the recommended 60 minutes or more of daily physical activity, while addressing key safety concerns including concussion awareness, heat and hydration, cardiac arrest and proper response and the prevention of pediatric overuse injuries. The program provides credible, easy-to-understand information and ongoing resources and education for parents and caregivers, teachers, coaches, youth sports leagues and others, which also includes information about nutrition and healthy snacks.
Content created for the toolkits uses the most relevant, evidence-based information to date. The AHA, along with strategic alliance experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Korey Stringer Institute and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, were all involved in helping develop and review the content and curriculum that lies at the core of this program.
“The AHA is excited to work with the NFL on this important program,” stated Kim Stitzel, Senior Vice President of Preventive Health Markets for the American Heart Association. “Participation in youth sports has certainly declined in recent years. We believe the Back to Sports education focus can help address safety concerns around youth sports and create more opportunities for youth to get physically active and develop positive life-long habits.”
“Getting kids active and healthy continues to be a priority for the NFL and all 32 teams and making sure parents are educated about sports safety is a critical component of these efforts,” said Charlotte Jones Anderson, chair of the NFL Foundation and executive vice president of the Dallas Cowboys. “The NFL Foundation is dedicated to improving the health and safety of sports and we are pleased to partner with American Heart Association to provide important resources to communities across the country through the Back to Sports program.”
Back to Sports is an expansion of a nearly 10-year relationship between the American Heart Association and the National Football League to promote physical activity in youth. For more information on this new program visit heart.org/BackToSports.