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Wayne High School earns Safe Sports School Award

By Eric Dutkiewicz, 08/04/18, 10:00AM EDT

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National honor recognizes athletes, coaches, athletic trainers for safety in athletics

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Wayne High School has been recognized for its safe environment for student-athletes through the earning of the Safe Sports School Award.

The Safe Sports School Award, given by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, champions the safety, best care practices, injury prevention and treatment for athletes competing in secondary schools nationwide.

“It means a lot to Wayne High School that we are given this honor,” athletic director Gary Raber says. “It starts with communication between the athletic department, athletic trainer and the coaches. It’s a team effort.”

“We remain committed to the health and welfare of young athletes in competitive sports,” NATA president Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC, said in a statement. “This award recognizes the contributions and commitment of schools across the country that are implementing safe sports policies and best practices to ensure athletes can do what they love best and have the appropriate care in place to prevent, manage and treat injuries should they occur.”

Wayne’s approximately 400 student-athletes worked with coaches, administrators and Parkview Sports Medicine athletic trainers Mary Cuson, MS, LAT, ATC and Kayla Parkos, MAT, LAT, ATC, to achieve the 3-year distinction based on the following criteria:

  • Create a positive athletic health care administrative system
  • Provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations
  • Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities
  • Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment
  • Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes
  • Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions
  • Provide or facilitate injury intervention
  • Create and rehearse a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan
  • Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education
  • Be sure athletes and parents are educated of the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities

Funding for the award application process came from a grant from the Great Lakes Athletic Trainers’ Association.

“What we, as athletic trainers through Parkview Sports Medicine, are all about is getting the kids the best possible care,” Cuson says. “We are able to give them tangible proof that we are indeed doing what’s absolutely best for them. I feel like it’s also us showing them we’ve made an investment in their future.”

Wayne is one of 25 high schools in Northeast Indiana and Northwest Ohio that partners with Parkview Sports Medicine for athletic training and other medical services for student-athletes provided by the region’s largest integrated sports medicine team.

Wayne is one of 1,171 schools with the Safe Sports School designation, including 40 in Indiana. Fellow Parkview Sports Medicine partner schools West Noble High School in Ligonier, Ind., and Eastside High School in Butler, Ind., have previously earned the Safe Sports School Award.