Volunteer coaches in Baltimore City, Maryland, will be heading into their seasons better prepared to help keep young athletes safe through a new training program provided by the National Alliance for Youth Sports (NAYS).
In partnership with the Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Department (BCRP), the Jordan McNair Youth Protection Act Training was developed by NAYS to help coaches gain a clear understanding of key safety issues and be able to recognize and respond if emergency situations arise that put young lives in danger.
“I anticipate a huge impact on coaches because of the information covered and the professionalism of the interactive training,” said Quinton Matthews, Athletic Director for the Youth & Adult Sports Division at Baltimore City, and a Certified Youth Sports Administrator (CYSA). “Also, the training can be done from a phone or a computer at the convenience of our volunteer coaches.”
In 2019 the Baltimore City Council signed into action the Jordan McNair Youth Athletic Protection Act, which requires coaches to complete six trainings to receive a permit to use BCRP facilities.
NAYS’ Jordan McNair Youth Protection Act Training covers all six requirements of the Jordan McNair Youth Athletic Protection Act: concussion risk and management; heat exhaustion risk and management; heat stroke risk and management; operation of an automated external defibrillator; sudden cardiac arrest risk and management; and identification and report of abuse and neglect.
“We have to do better, and education, awareness and prevention makes all the difference in the world,” said Martin McNair, founder of the Jordan McNair Foundation and host of the NAYS training. “Unfortunately, we’ve lost way too many young student-athletes the last few years due to not having the proper safety equipment and proper education. We have coaches who are making poor decisions when it comes to young athletes exerting themselves in extreme heat. All of us need to be educated. The more educated we are the safer our student athletes will be.”
Jordan died from complications due to a heat-related injury in 2018. The 19-year-old was an offensive lineman at the University of Maryland who collapsed while running sprints during an organized offseason team workout. Ever since, Martin has worked tirelessly to promote awareness, education, and the prevention of heat-related injuries.
“We applaud the Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Department for their proactive efforts to educate their coaches and keep their young athletes as safe as possible,” said John Engh, executive director of NAYS. “It was a privilege to work with Mr. McNair and so many outstanding experts who shared their important insights for this training that we know will have a positive impact on the Baltimore community.”
The NAYS online training features key insights from leading experts: Stacy Carone, Associate Athletic Director of Sports Medicine at the University of Maryland Baltimore County; John Hoffman, Director of Sports Performance at Loyola University Maryland; Dr. Howard Dubowitz, Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine; Veronica Ampey, Certified Athletic Trainer at Georgetown Day School; Jay Sabol, Athletic Trainer for the Miami Heat; and Dr. Walter Lambert, Child Abuse Pediatrics Specialist at the University of Miami (Fla.).
The training takes approximately 90 minutes to complete. Coaches can go through the training at their own pace, choosing to log in and out at their convenience. Throughout the training, multiple choice questions test how well coaches understand the material.
“The training will not fully roll out until this fall for football coaches,” Matthews said. “We have had a few coaches take the training, with good reviews.”
More recreation agencies may follow the Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Department’s lead in the years ahead to help provide more layers of protection for their young athletes.
“I think this training will be the future for agencies as more and more documented cases of these types of injuries and fatalities plague the sports world,” Matthews said. “Across the country more legislation is being brought forward, causing youth sport providers to be more proactive.”Health Safety Training Coaching Heat Exhaustion Heat Stroke CPR AED Jordan McNair Hydration
National Alliance for Youth Sports, Inc
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West Palm Beach, FL 33407
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