Last Modified: Thursday, August 02, 2012 8:18 PM
Here’s a tip of the cap, or more appropriately a football helmet, over an effort to provide sports safety equipment and services to local high school teams.
The Foundation for Fairplay, which will operate under The Foundation at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, has raised $40,000 as seed money to underwrite the organization’s goals.
The mission of the organization, known as the F3 Foundation, is to provide equipment to ensure the safety of local prep athletes and proper medical care if they are injured.
Dr. Brett Cascio, a F3 Foundation member, said high schools can apply for funds to be used for anything from football helmets to adhesive tape.
Applications will require a statement of need for the equipment and/or merchandise, proposed costs, the budgets for the sport for the past two years and booster club donations for the same time span.
Recent studies and research have raised concerns about the effects of multiple concussions on athletes’ brains. The focus has been particularly drawn to football, a collision, rather than a contact, sport.
Cascio said one of the F3 Foundation’s first projects will be to help schools administer the ImPACT test, a baseline assessment used to determine when an athlete can safely return to the playing field after suffering a concussion.
He used as an example LaGrange High School football helmets, which are nearing the end of their life cycle. He said the school may not have the money to buy 36 new helmets.
Sadly, several high school sports teams in Calcasieu Parish are suffering from dwindling support at the gate and from their booster clubs. That has put added pressure on coaches and administrators to raise funds to bridge the gap and buy essential equipment.
Sports, kept in proper perspective, can be an integral part of the learning process for high school students. None other than the Duke of Wellington mused nearly 200 years ago that England’s victory over Napoleon at Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, a highly regarded boys school in England.
Prep athletes shouldn’t be ill-equipped just because there are budgetary constraints that they have no control over.
This is where the Foundation for Fairplay can offer an invaluable service for local high school athletes.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.