Conway High receives 'Safe Sports Award'

Conway High School is the recipient of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School award for its athletics 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.

“Our entire athletic department puts a high priority on the safety of our student athletes. Our coaches and trainers work hard to make sure that our teams and athletes are always competitive and always safe. We are proud to receive this award that recognizes our efforts, and we are very grateful to Conway Regional for its generous donations of AEDs to our district.” said Steve Daniels, Conway athletic director.

The Conway High School athletic program partners with Conway Regional Health System to provide athletic training at all games and practices, as well as other health and safety needs for student athletes. Athletic trainers work with the school’s coaching staff to establish a safe practice environment and follow physicians’ guidance in developing a rehabilitation program after an injury. On game day, the trainers also assist physicians in providing immediate care for injured athletes, and have specialized training to assist paramedics and EMTs in removing helmets and shoulder pads in such a way to avoid aggravating a spinal injury. Athletic trainers can administer a cognitive test to determine if a concussion has occurred and can make a decision to withhold an athlete from play.  

This year, Conway Regional also provided two AEDs (automated external defibrillators) to the Conway schools to address safety needs. “This is a community safety priority for Conway Regional. The medical community is keenly aware of the importance of having AEDs in public areas,” said Jim Lambert, Conway Regional president and CEO.

In order to achieve Safe Sport School status, as Conway High School did, athletic programs must:
•    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.