Thursday, November 18, 2010

Hoover City Council: City's youth coaches must take free sports safety course

Published: Monday, November 15, 2010, 8:21 PM ??? Updated: Monday, November 15, 2010, 9:20 PM

The Hoover City Council passed a resolution Monday night requiring anyone coaching in city youth sports leagues to complete a free course designed to educate lay people on the basics of sports safety.

Dr. Larry Lemak, whose orthopedic practice focuses on sports medicine and who spearheaded the creation of PREPARE in 2002, said Hoover is the first city to mandate the course.

"I hope every other municipality and community in Alabama follows Hoover's lead in considering and adopting this free program aimed at protecting their children," Lemak said in a statement.

The course is offered under the National Center for Sports Safety, founded by Lemak, as either a hands-on course or as an on-line tutorial. Lemak, who was at Monday night's council meeting, said PREPARE is free through a partnership with Alabama State University.

Lemak said the course provides lay people with enough knowledge to understand what to do and what not to do in an emergency sports situation until medical assistance arrives. Coaches in youth leagues are volunteers, often parents.

"It's a critical program," Lemak said.

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