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BA Athletics receives '1st Team Safe Sports School Award'

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Broken Arrow Public Schools Athletic Department has earned the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Safe Sports School Award, for championing safety and maintaining recommended standards to continually improve safety in sports.

“Broken Arrow Athletics is honored to receive this ‘1st Team’ recognition from NATA,” said Steve Dunn, Executive Director of Athletics. “We remain committed to keeping our student athletes safe during team practices and games so they can accomplish their own goals of competing at championship levels, fair sportsmanship, and a culture of lifelong health. This designation is a testament to the hard work of a group of selfless, fully committed health professionals who invest in our student-athletes every day.”

Certified athletic trainers Daniel Steward and Grace Woern are at the forefront of the district’s Sports Medicine program, which partners with Ascension St. John of Broken Arrow and Tulsa Bone and Joint. Steward and Warren oversee the daily treatments in the district’s training room. Dr. John C. Balbas is the team physician.

“The NATA Safe Sport School Award is a very exciting award to receive,” Steward said. “This award helps make the Broken Arrow community and Broken Arrow Public Schools aware that our administration and sports medicine team value the safety of our student athletes. It shows that we’re providing the best care in prevention, initial injury assessment, rehabilitation and treatment for our student athletes.

“We have put in place policies and procedures to ensure athletes are able to participate at the safest environment. We won’t just stop there,” Steward added. “We’re always staying updated and want stay at the highest safety standards for our student athletes and coaches.”

Broken Arrow Athletics main training room is located on the first floor of the Varsity Training Center. A second training room is located in Tiger Field House. Steward and Woern also oversee the sports medicine student aid program, in which students learn sports medicine, observe professional athletic trainers at work and help injured athletes with medicine and rehab.  

In order to achieve Safe Sports School status, Broken Arrow athletics, along with the district sports medicine program must meet 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 about the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities

“The health and safety of student-athletes is critical as it has both immediate and long-term effects,” said NATA President Tory Lindley, MA, ATC. “NATA created the ‘Safe Sports School Award’ to recognize and champion schools nationwide that are committed to enhancing safety in sports. We are proud to see the list of award recipients grow exponentially each year as schools see the immense value in holding themselves to best practices and policies that ensure a high standard of athlete care.”

To apply, schools complete an in-depth questionnaire that assesses adherence to best practice standards and recommendations. For more information about the Safe Sports School Award, please visit www.athletictrainers.org.

The NATA is made up of health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries.

Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 45,000 members of the athletic training profession.

For more information, visit www.nata.org.