Illinois association launches student-athlete safety campaign

The Illinois High School Association announced today the creation of its “Play Smart. Play Hard.” campaign, designed to enhance student-athlete safety across the state.

IHSAThe initiative includes the launching of the Illinois Advisory Council on Player Safety, comprising former and current athletes, athletic trainers and coaches from throughout Illinois. They’re responsible for facilitating open and transparent dialogue about head injuries and other safety issues and review of current programs and other recommendations related to student-athlete safety standards and protocols, according to a news release from the IHSA.

“Player safety is the IHSA’s top priority, and we are thrilled to announce the launch of the Play Smart. Play Hard. campaign,” Marty Hickman, executive director of the IHSA, said in the news release. “The IHSA firmly believes that high school athletics bring tremendous value to student-athletes, including lifelong lessons in hard work, perseverance and teamwork, but we also recognize there is an element of risk in athletics. Play Smart. Play Hard. represents the IHSA’s latest step in our ongoing commitment to enhancing the safety of student-athletes while they continue playing the sports we all love.”

Other initiatives include:

• Creating a player safety toolkit to continue to educate parents, student-athletes, coaches and schools on important player safety topics. The toolkit contains fact sheets, FAQs and other important player safety resources from the IHSA, National Federation of State High School Associations and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

• Strengthening partnerships with the medical community, including leading doctors from Children’s Memorial Hospital and Seton Medical Center, as well as the NFHS and other state associations to stay abreast of new research, injury prevention developments and best practices related to all player safety issues.

More information on the “Play Smart. Play Hard.” campaign can be found by clicking here.

Leave a Reply