Just look at the numbers.
Three years. Twenty-seven organizations. One hundred and twenty-one coaches, teachers and youth workers trained – 13 of them traveling to the United States for that preparation, partly delivered by three NIU students. Fifteen hundred youth enrolled in summer programs. Three thousand youth in school programs.
Paul Wright could go on about the Belizean Youth Sport Coalition (BYSC) project, which began in 2013 and officially wrapped up this September, but the data speaks for itself.
“I have been amazed and so grateful to the people who have contributed to making this project a success,” says Wright, a professor in the NIU Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. “It’s been about collaboration and teamwork, and the talent, commitment and complementary skills of the U.S. team was matched by our Belizean partners.”
Funded by the U.S. Department of State’s SportsUnited program, the BYSC aimed to promote youth development and social change through sport. Read more...
Sharon Moskowitz, a NIU graduate student and life-long athlete, suffered her first concussion at 15, the result of a particularly aggressive foul during a high school basketball game. Moskowitz’s opponent hit her so hard that it broke her nose and knocked her out for a few moments. Her coached benched Moskowitz for a month – not because of the concussion but because of the broken nose. At the time, athletes were expected to shake it off after having their bell rung.
Since then Moskowitz has suffered as many as eight concussions, most recently from a ski-boarding accident that left her stuttering for a month afterward.
“Awareness of traumatic brain injury was almost non-existent while I was growing up and in college,” she said.
But that awareness is growing.
Publicity surrounding brain damage among retired professional football players and research into the long-term effects of head injuries among young athletes have left parents wondering about their child’s safety on the field and prompted lawmakers nationwide to pass new laws regarding concussion in youth sports.
The NIU College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education will address these issues in a panel discussion titled “Concussion and Youth Sport” on Tuesday, March 22, 2016. Read more...