Youth Sports Safety Ambassador Awards Presented

Youth Sports Safety Ambassador Awards Presented

Photo Credit: Renee Fernandes, National Athletic Trainers’ Association
The National Athletic Trainers’ Association presented its Youth Sports Safety Ambassador Award to two honorees, Larry Roziers and Pop Warner Little Scholars.

The award recognizes an individual or entity that has advanced athlete safety by providing exemplary youth sports safety protocols and care and by advancing youth sports safety in either provision of appropriate medical care, research, policy change, and or resource allocation.

“NATA is pleased to recognize Larry Roziers and Pop Warner Little Scholars for their outstanding contributions and enduring commitment to the safety of young athletes,” said NATA president Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC, who presented the awards. “We are proud to honor them as some of the best in their field with the Youth Sports Safety Ambassador Awards.”

Larry Roziers, assistant superintendent, Family and Community Engagement of Duval County Public School District, was recognized for promoting student athlete safety after he spent several years meeting with local physicians, business owners, philanthropists and community organizations to gather information and support. Through data collected from a pilot program that introduced athletic trainers (ATs) to his district high schools, Roziers influenced community partners to create a program to place ATs in all 17 high schools by 2020.

He also worked with school principals to create athletic training facilities and establish clear reporting relationships between the principal and AT.

Pop Warner Little Scholars received the award for its continued commitment to youth athlete safety. Pop Warner created the first national youth sports concussion policy requiring an athlete who has been removed from play with a suspected head injury to not return to any Pop Warner activity until being cleared by a medical professional trained in concussion evaluation.

Pop Warner also prohibits full speed, head-on blocking or tackling drills when players are lined up more than three yards apart.

The organization is guided by an independent medical advisory committee formed in 2010, and all coaches are trained in the USA Football Heads Up program.

Pop Warner was the first national football organization at any level to eliminate kickoffs and it reduced all player contact to 25 percent of practice time.

The Youth Sports Safety Summit was hosted by NATA and the Youth Sports Safety Alliance.

The Youth Sports Safety Summit was hosted by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) and the Youth Sports Safety Alliance, comprising nearly 290 organizations committed to keeping young athletes safe. This year’s event was held in Indianapolis, and the theme was “Less Risk, More Reward: Emphasizing Safety and Encouraging Success.” Speakers addressed a variety of topics ranging from emergency health and safety best practices and same day return to play following concussion to insurance risks in sports.