When the National Youth Sports Safety Foundation was formed in 1989, its mission was to provide information on the prevention of youth sports injuries. The non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation was founded in Massachusetts by Rita Glassman after her young daughter Michelle suffered a severe back injury that ended her tennis career. Rita was the first to designate April as National Youth Sports Safety Month, which MomsTeam has been celebrating every year since 2001.
I recall visiting Rita and her daughter in their Boston office shortly after I launched MomsTeam in 2000. Rita and Michelle have worked tirelessly to make youth sports safer for many years. Twelve years ago, NYSSF and MomsTeam were the only organizations providing extensive and well-researched information on youth sports safety and injury prevention. Since then, of course, we have been joined by many wonderful organizations who are working hard to educate parents, coaches and caregivers of young athletes about safety issues. Websites have been launched to support safety products and services. Countless others have jumped on the concussion "bandwagon", many in just the past four years. Others have started their own youth sports injury prevention organizations.
While MomsTeam has been on the cutting edge of a number of youth sports safety issues, most notably on the issues of concussions, we believe in the old saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and thus are thrilled that so many other groups and people have joined us. We know that because of our efforts kids playing sports are safer than ever before. We hear from parents and coaches all the time how much they rely on MomsTeam as the trusted source of youth sports parenting information.
But MomsTeam is a TEAM effort. Just like any great team, our staff works with our experts, guest contributors, scientists, doctors, athletic trainers, physical therapists, nutritionists and countless others to create the mix of timely and timeless content that make MomsTeam what it is today.
In recognition of the efforts of so many to help make youth sports safer, MomsTeam has invited experts in the sports medicine field to contribute to a month-long special blog project called simply, APRIL IS NATIONAL YOUTH SPORTS SAFETY MONTH. I have asked each to write a short blog answering two questions: first, how or why they got into their field, and, second, how they had made a difference in the life of a youth athlete in the past year. We will feature a new blog on th home page and via Facebook and Twitter every day in April. At some point during the month, I will contribute a blog to the project answering the same two questions. I am excited about this project and I know that you will find the blogs both interesting and informative.
A word about the logo
Every blog will feature a special logo which I created with the help of Swiss graphic designer, Radek Zmitko. The three carabiners have special meaning for me. When my triplet sons were young, I dressed them in red, green and blue. They loved to climb, and my son Taylor continues to climb at the elite level all around the world. I think rock-climbers are among the most safety-aware athletes. The carabiners represent safety almost more than any other piece of equipment. Strong and durable, they are literally a climber's life line. I will write more on the topic in my blog later this month. But, for now, I will leave it to the experts to teach and share with all of us.
How can you help advance MomsTeam's continuing mission of making youth sports safer? By clicking on the Facebook and Twitter icons below each post to share them with your family and friends. If even one young athlete is saved from serious injury through this project, if even one person is inspired to go into sports medicine by reading how one of our experts got into the field, we will have achieved our goal. Together, I know we can all make a difference in the lives of our sports active children!
Read all of our blogs for this special event: http://www.momsteam.com/blogs/april-national-youth-sports-safety-month
Brooke de Lench is Executive Director of the non-profit MomsTEAM Institute, Inc., author of HOME TEAM ADAVANTAGE: The Critical Role of Mothers in Youth Sports (Harper Collins), Founder of MomsTeam.com, and the Producer/Director of the PBS documentary, "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer."