NYSATA’s 2nd Annual “AT Recognition Week” Sports Safety Initiative Goes Viral

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The New York State Athletic Trainers’ Association (NYSATA) extends their sincere appreciation to all NYS institutions that participated in “Athletic Training Recognition Week” earlier this fall to promote sports safety at all levels of athletic participation. The 2nd annual event was a social media sensation drawing participation from a handful of other states and reach of nearly 300 million.

AT Recognition Week logo

... The support of the fan bases throughout NY schools spoke volumes about the ... respect they have for the their ATs...

With the addition of a 'Who's Your AT?' Twitter initiative and contest this year, the 2nd annual NYS “Athletic Training (AT) Recognition Week” went viral on social media with 5,900 tweets, 20,800 re-tweets (RTs), and a 2.83 million reach during the ten-day event! From October 17-26, 2014, over 30 secondary schools participated in the Twitter contest with a handful of colleges supporting the social media effort.

The contest winner with 1,150 tweets was Amsterdam High School athletic trainer (AT), Carla Pasquarelli, ATC, who won a Gatorade G Series Performance Package for the school’s athletic programs. Finishing close behind in second place with 1,129 tweets was Our Lady of Lourdes HS athletic trainer, Dan Creedon, ATC. Tweets for these two ATs from their school communities accounted for 40% of the 5,900 tweets! The top five was rounded out by Garden City HS athletic trainer Chris Napoli (649 tweets), John Jay–East Fishkill HS athletic trainer Phil Stamatis (373 tweets), and Hendrick Hudson HS athletic trainer Meg Greiner (169 tweets).

Dave Byrnes, NYSATA’s Treasurer and Twitter administrator, was pleased with the outcome, stating, "It was a close race, but the support of the student fan bases throughout NY high schools spoke volumes about the love and respect they have for the their athletic trainers and the value the ATs bring to their respective schools." All tweets from the event can be viewed at #WhosYourAT.

An additional 30 NYS schools - scholastic and collegiate – provided some type of public awareness on sports safety by making public service announcements (PSAs) during home athletic contests or during the school day. Many also introduced and thanked their ATs for their commitment and dedication in providing quality health care to their student-athletes.

A special thank-you to our participating NYS Secondary Schools (HS) and Districts (SD): Arlington HS, Bedford Central SD (Fox Lane HS), Briarcliff HS, Buffalo Public Schools (Hutchinson Technology, South Park & Middle Early College HSs), Cazenovia HS, Central Square HS, Croton HS, Dobbs Ferry HS, East Syracuse-Minoa HS, Eastridge HS, Fairport HS, Garden City SD/HS, Geneseo CSD, Grand Island, Greater Amsterdam SD/HS, Hackley School, Hendrick Hudson HS, Horace Greeley HS, Horace Mann School, Irvington HS, Katonah Lewisboro SD (John Jay HS), Kenmore-Tonawanda USFD (Kenmore East HS), Our Lady of Lourdes HS, New Rochelle HS, Newburgh HS, Nyack HS, Pelham HS, Plainview HS, Poly Prep, Poughkeepsie HS, Shenendahowa HS, Solvay HS, Spackenkill HS, Queensbury Unified School District, Wappingers Central SD (John Jay HS-East Fishkill), Warwick Valley HS, White Plains HS, Williamsville SD (South HS), and Yorktown HS.

A special thank-you to all of our participating NYS Colleges/Universities and their corresponding Athletic Conferences: Dominican College, Daemen College, Farmingdale State College, LIU Brooklyn, LIU Post, NY Institute of Technology, Manhattanville College, Marist College, Onondaga Community College, St. Francis College (Brooklyn), St. John Fisher College, SUNY College at Brockport, SUNY Canton, and SUNY Oneonta.

NYSATA extends sincere appreciation to Henry Schein rep Justin Hickam and Gatorade rep Mary Sullivan for donating such an amazing prize as incentive for the Twitter contest and to all of the school communities who participated and showed support and appreciation for their ATs.

NYSATA plans to hold “AT Recognition Week” annually with hopes that the message of providing appropriate sports safety measures and personnel will spread to all corners of NYS. While many higher levels of sport, including professional and collegiate, employ athletic trainers, nearly fifty-percent of public high schools in NYS are still without access to an AT – and at many levels, including collegiate, the ratio of ATs to student-athletes and/or sports teams is lower than recommended. With the growing number of students participating in sports and the high incidence of athletic injuries, including concussion, it is critical that schools provide appropriate health and medical care and safety measures for their athletes, just as they provide coaching support.

NYSATA would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the newest four NYS schools to be awarded the 1st Team NATA’s Safe Sports School distinction: Horace Mann School (Bronx), Poly Prep Country Day School (Brooklyn), Riverdale Country School (Bronx), William Floyd High School (Mastic Beach). The NATA gives this honor to recognize secondary schools that take steps to keep their athletes free from injuries, including following established health care safety guidelines, utilizing and maintaining proper equipment, and providing appropriate medical personnel for student-athletes. These four schools expand the list of those receiving this distinction to five since Yorktown High School was recognized last fall as the first school in NYS to receive this award.

For more information on Athletic Training Recognition Week, National Athletic Training Month (March), or NATA’s Safe Sports School award, or to offer support, information, or suggestions for promotion, please contact NYSATA at pr(at)gonysata2(dot)org.

NYSATA, founded in 1976 and incorporated in 1989, stands to advance, encourage and improve the profession of athletic training (AT) by developing the common interests of its membership for the purpose of enhancing the quality of healthcare for the physically active in NYS. Athletic training is practiced by certified athletic trainers, who have expertise in the assessment, emergency management, rehabilitation and prevention of acute and chronic sport-related injuries, illnesses and conditions, including concussions. Comprised of over 1,200 certified and practicing athletic trainers, NYSATA is the state-wide affiliate of the regional Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association (EATA) and District Two of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA).

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