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National Center for Sports Safety Teams With Mississippi to Train State's High School Coaches

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Center for Sports Safety (NCSS) and the Mississippi High School Activities Association have finalized a partnership to educate Mississippi's high school and middle school coaches in the area of sports safety.

The MHSAA executive committee has approved a pilot initiative to train coaches through the NCSS PREPARE program, and the organization is now working to secure funding to make this tool a permanent part of every school's athletic program.

NCSS began conversations with Mississippi early this fall about the importance of sports safety. The deal has been inked just as sports safety earns national attention after the indictment of a Kentucky coach following the death of a player from heatstroke.

"We truly believe in PREPARE's ability to reduce the number and severity of injuries to children who play sports, and we are excited that Mississippi sees the value in this kind of training," said NCSS Executive Director, Matthew Lemak.

The Alabama High School Athletic Association already requires all head coaches, assistant coaches, and non-faculty coaches to take the PREPARE course.

"Safety of our student athletes is a top priority of the Mississippi High School Activities Association, and we are pleased to add this new sports safety program to the tools we have to insure student safety," said Dr. Ennis Proctor, Executive Director, MHSAA.

Dr. Lawrence Lemak, NCSS founder, said his vision for the organization is not only to offer a resource for education but also to show coaches and parents the grave importance of sports safety training for parents, coaches and athletes.

"There is not one parent that would drop their child off at a local community pool if there was not a certified lifeguard on duty. That same standard of care should be observed on the playing field," Dr. Lemak said. "Dr. Proctor is a forward thinker, and has shown his desire to protect students and offer piece of mind to parents."

MHSAA contact: Dr. Phyfa Eiland, Director of Development 601-924-6400,

NCSS contact: Kathryn Gwaltney, Assistant Executive Director, 866-508-NCSS,


The National Center for Sports Safety, a non-profit organization formed in 2001, was founded by Dr. Lawrence Lemak to promote the importance of injury prevention and safety on all levels of youth sports through education and research. PREPARE is a sports safety course that was developed in 2004, in conjunction with the National Athletic Trainers Association, which educates coaches and volunteers how to prevent common injuries, how to recognize symptoms of potentially dangerous conditions, and how to respond in emergency situations. Visit the NCSS at

The Mississippi High School Activities Association, located in Clinton, Mississippi is a non-profit, which is run by the secondary schools, and is responsible for academic and athletic competitions. The athletic competitions include 16 sports. Visit MHSAA at

SOURCE The National Center for Sports Safety
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