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National Center for Sports Safety Responds to Indictment of Kentucky Coach
Date:1/26/2009

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Center for Sports Safety (NCSS) issued a statement today in regards to the death of 15-year-old Kentucky high school football player Max Gilpin and the subsequent charges brought against Pleasure Ridge Park High School coach David Stinson on Thursday.

"Our hearts go out to the family, teammates, and coaches of this young man," said Dr. Larry Lemak, founder of the NCSS. "Though we cannot change the tragic outcome of this accident, we hope it will build awareness that sports safety training and education for coaches, parents and players is essential and can often be the difference between life and death."

Gilpin passed away on August 20 after suffering a heat stroke during football practice that day.

The National Center for Sports Safety has reached out to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association to offer its assistance in the prevention of sports-related injuries in the state. The NCSS is already working with High School Associations in Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi to establish training and education programs for coaches and players. The organization also works with National Governing Bodies around the country such as Pop Warner Football, USA Wrestling, USA Football, and in the past with USA Rugby.

NCSS also offers an online course called PREPARE targeted to volunteer coaches and parents. Available at www.sportssafety.org, the course covers everything from minor blisters and ankle sprains to life-threatening head and neck injuries.

"In addition to offering our help in Kentucky, we are also looking into this incident to determine what we can learn from what happened to Max Gilpin and how it might inform and improve our training and education programs," said Kathryn Gwaltney, Director of Operations and Associate Executive Director for NCSS.

Coach Jack Wood, Chairman of the Alabama Football Coaches Association, said the accident definitely proves that investing time in training is worth every minute for coaches: "These coaches will have to live with this incident for the rest of their lives, and that's why having education to protect and recognize injuries to these young athletes is so critical."

Dr. Lemak added, "The safety of our children is often in the hands of coaches and we are striving for mandatory safety education for all coaches across the country."

About Dr. Lemak

Dr. Lemak is a world renowned Orthopaedic Sports Medicine Surgeon, and is Medical Director for Major League Soccer, LPGA, PGA, the former NFL Europe League, and several colleges and high schools in central Alabama, in addition to national physical therapy provider Physio Therapy Corporation. He is also the Medical Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

About NCSS (www.sportssafety.org)

The NCSS was founded by renowned orthopaedic surgeon Lawrence J. Lemak, M.D. in 2001 to promote the importance of injury prevention and safety on all levels of youth sports through education and research. The NCSS focuses on decreasing the number and/or severity of injuries through developing and teaching sports safety courses and collecting, analyzing and researching injury data.


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SOURCE National Center for Sports Safety
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