LOS ANGELES (May 29, 2014) – At today’s precedent-setting White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit, President Obama voiced his support for increased research and broader awareness on the pressing issue of concussions in youth sports. The LA84 Foundation, one of the nation’s leading non-profit organizations supporting youth sports, has been addressing this escalating problem in recent months. Below is a statement from LA84 President Anita DeFrantz:
“We commend President Obama for taking a strong stand to protect our young people from concussions in contact sports. As the leading funder of youth sports – supporting more than 3 million children in Southern California since our founding after the 1984 Olympic Games – we have taken a significant interest in this issue. LA84 has sponsored research, formed partnerships with medical experts, and worked with youth sports administrators to seek solutions to this serious and growing problem. Last year, we adopted new safety guidelines for tackle football. We now give preference to grant proposals from organizations that adhere to these guidelines, which include delaying tackle football until eight years of age, training for tackle coaches in proper techniques designed to reduce head trauma, and prohibiting dangerous training practices such as full speed head-on blocking or tackling drills.
“We also applaud Steve Tisch for his generous donation to UCLA this week to support prevention, research and treatment of concussions for athletes of all ages, especially youth. We look forward to opportunities to partner with the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program to unite players, coaches, parents, researchers and administrators to further our understanding of concussions and to create policies that will help us effectively prevent and treat concussions in youth sports.
“President Obama took an important step today to help raise awareness and to help propel new research, programs and policies to address concussions— an issue that is reaching epidemic levels on the sports fields of America.”