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23 Dec 2015

AAU applauds new Will Smith movie ’Concussion’

AAU applauds new Will Smith movie ’Concussion’

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (Dec. 23, 2015) - The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) has always put the health and well-being of its athletes first and foremost.   Concussion awareness and prevention has been an organizational priority and an AAU policy for many years.

The upcoming movie ‘Concussion’ starring Will Smith as Dr. Bennet Omalu is generating a lot of discussion pertaining to concussion safety.  The real-life forensic pathologist focused the spotlight on brain damage suffered by professional football players. The AAU welcomes the increased exposure this very serious issue has gained with the release of the movie. 

The organization’s concussion policy states athletes with concussion-like symptoms are not allowed to continue participation in AAU licensed events without a medical release.
 
“Safety doesn’t happen by accident,” said Dr. Roger Goudy, AAU President and CEO. “The safety of our youth athletes has always been our primary focus. We believe we, as an organization, have taken significant steps to provide AAU events that are both safe and enjoyable for all who attend.”
 
AAU offers numerous sport programs including basketball, baseball, football, hockey, tae kwon do and hockey.  All these sport programs have protocols in place addressing overall athlete well-being and concussion safety specifically.  Training for coaches is at the forefront. The AAU recommends all of its coaches, and other non-athlete members working with youth athletes avail themselves to the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Head's Up program.  Coaches and other club leaders can take a free on-line course that will provide important information in the recommendation and decision-making in handling situations that may involve concussion injuries.  
 
“Safeguarding our athlete’s has always been AAU Karate’s number one priority," said Jo Mirza, AAU Karate National Chair. “All coaches, parents and those running events need to take the free course and avail themselves of the CDC’s information regarding concussion safety.”
 
The organization recently endorsed the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) SafeSports program, which focuses on four primary objectives: addressing sexual and physical misconduct in sport; reviewing the guidelines across sports and other related organizations for responding to these issues; assessing the needs of athletes, coaches, staff, National Governing Bodies (NGBs), clubs and other sport organizations; and developing a set of recommendations to promote athlete well-being.

“The AAU recognizes the potential harm from head or neck injuries to our youth athletes is a serious matter,” said Keith Noll, AAU Football and Hockey National Chair. “But the AAU is committed to limiting the potential harm and creating a safer environment for kids to come and compete.”
 
No matter the sport, safety is always the top priority for the AAU at all events.
 
For more information on this very important topic, visit the AAU Concussion policy page here.

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