Friday, April 20, 2012 1:05 PM
The Most Dangerous Sports - How You Can Help Injured Athletes
In a recent report conducted by The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina that gathered information in a 28-year period from 1982-2010, high school fall sports had 771 direct catastrophic injuries. Specifically, in 2009 high school fall sports were associated with 35 direct catastrophic injuries. Of these injuries, 34 were associated with football with two fatalities, 16 involved permanent disability and 16 were considered serious. In addition, 2009 high school fall sports were also associated with 15 indirect fatalities with 12 being in football, two in cross country and one in soccer.
The grim reality is that almost any sport can put an athlete at risk, and almost any injury can result in serious or life-threatening harm. There is often a lifetime of expenses related to helping the injured athlete maintain a quality of life. Those who sustain life-threatening injuries as a result of sports training, practice and participation could easily have their lives changed forever. Those left to handle the consequences of being paralyzed may never be able to care for themselves without assistance for the remainder of their lives.
It’s time for this nation to do more to prevent and respond to catastrophic injury. We need to rally not just as communities, but as a nation. We rely on these athletes to bring our team victory, and they need to be able to rely on us to support them through the hardships they endure. We spend billions of dollars a year attending sporting events and purchasing fan merchandise, yet we don’t step up to help when one of our players goes down with a life-threatening injury? We need to give back and help these athletes and their families when injury strikes. We need to be a nationwide community of supporters who share a love for sports and athletes, now more than ever.
By Zina Barrow, a mother of three young football athletes and president of National Sports Leagues of America, the company that created “Injured Athlete Alerts,” a patent-pending system to raise national awareness and funds to assist families of athletes impacted by a catastrophic sports-related injury. Register for free to be a part of the NSLA support network today at www.thensla.com.