Penn Yan Academy, through a partnership with Finger Lakes Health, is the recipient of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Safe Sports School 1st Team award for its athletic program. The award champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that provide safe environments for student athletes. The award reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment.
Penn Yan Academy is the 15th school in New York State and the first in the Finger Lakes Region to receive first-team recognition. To achieve the award, Penn Yan Academy partnered with Finger Lakes Health’s Rehabilitation Department, which provides athletic training coverage on a daily basis during the school year for Penn Yan schools. In addition to the athletic trainer (ATC), Finger Lakes Health provides both sports medicine coverage from the physicians of Interlakes Orthopedics Surgery (IOS) and medical coverage from Dr. Robert Anderson of Pre-Emption Family Medicine as the school’s physician.
“Penn Yan Academy is honored to receive this 1st Team recognition from NATA, and we remain committed to keeping our student athletes safe during physical education classes, team practices and games so they can accomplish their own goals of great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship and good health. Our goal is to lead our athletics program to the highest safety standards for our players,” said Tobin Tansey, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director for Penn Yan Central School District. “With the great group of Finger Lakes Health physicians, therapists and athletic trainer, Luis Zuniga, MS, ATC, our student-athletes have great access to quality health and wellness care, in addition to prevention of injuries.”
Luis Zuniga, an athletic trainer with Finger Lakes Health Rehabilitation Services, was instrumental in helping Penn Yan Academy earn the award. He developed emergency action plans, coaches’ and parent education tools and therapeutic program procedures to create a program that maintains the safety of Penn Yan’s student athletes.
Finger Lakes Health can partner with your school district to help meet the National Athletic Training Association (NATA) standards for Safe Sports School designation. Please call Maureen Loyal, PT, DPT, director of Rehabilitation Services for Finger Lakes Health for more information, (315) 787-4570.
“We remain committed to the health and welfare of young athletes in competitive sports,” says NATA President Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC. “This award recognizes the contributions and commitment of schools across the country that are implementing safe sports policies and best practices to ensure athletes can do what they love best and have the appropriate care in place to prevent, manage and treat injuries should they occur.”
In order to achieve Safe Sport School status, as Penn Yan Academy did, athletic programs must do the following:
- 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 of the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities
For more information please visit: www.athletictrainers.org.