FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 22, 2006
Michigan High School Athletic Association Selected
New York, NY/Portland, Ore - March 22 - The Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has been chosen as one of four state high school athletic/activities associations to receive a grant from Sports Illustrated and the Center for Health Promotion Research at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) to inform educators about the problem of young athletes, drugs and sports and implement the landmark ATLAS and ATHENA steroid and drug prevention/health promotion programs.
The announcement was made today by Art Berke, Vice President of Communications at Sports Illustrated, and OHSU’s Linn Goldberg, M.D. and Diane Elliot, M.D., co-creators of the programs. The other state recipients are Florida, Oregon and Virginia. The four states were chosen based on their geographic representation, the commitment of their high school associations and their capacity to recruit high schools of varying sizes, locations and diverse student populations.
The associations in each state and the Center for Health Promotion Research will choose three high schools to be part of the model SI Schools initiative The program was created as a result of OHSU being selected as the recipient of Sports Illustrated’s first annual SI Champion Award, presented to a non-profit which has done exemplary work in the sports arena. Each SI School will receive program training, including all ATLAS and ATHENA program components for the 2006-07 academic year at no cost to the school and national recognition from Sports Illustrated.
Schools from all of Michigan have the opportunity to apply to become an SI School and winners will be revealed on Wednesday, May 24. The MHSAA will host a special Sports Illustrated/ATLAS and ATHENA conference on Thursday, November 9 at a site to be determined. School officials, athletic directors and coaches are invited to learn more about the problem and the ATLAS and ATHENA programs. Speakers will include experts on drug prevention education, Sports Illustrated staff and Drug Enforcement Administration officials.
“I join with Sports Illustrated in expressing how excited we are about this opportunity to provide young athletes with the tools to succeed without drugs,” said Dr. Goldberg. “The SI Schools initiative will go a long way toward combating a nationwide problem.”
“We believe that education is the key to discrediting the drug culture that has infiltrated some levels of sports,” said John E. Roberts, Executive Director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association. “This partnership with the highly-regarded ATLAS and ATHENA programs and Sports Illustrated will provide a rare opportunity for athletes at four Michigan high schools to receive in-depth, practical training and to learn about successful alternatives to performance-enhancing drugs.”
ATLAS (Athletes Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids), a multi-component program for male high school athletes, first instituted in 1993, is scientifically shown to reduce risk factors and use of anabolic steroids, alcohol and other illicit drugs while promoting healthy nutrition and exercise behaviors. Proven results include: new substance use decreased 50 percent; new anabolic steroid use decreased 50 percent; occurrences of drinking and driving declined 24 percent; a lower index of alcohol and drug use; reduced use of performance-enhancing supplements; and improved nutrition and exercise behaviors.
ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives), which began reaching high schools for female athletes in 1997, features the promotion of healthy nutrition and effective exercise training as alternatives to harmful behaviors. The objectives are: reduce young women athletes’ disordered eating habits; deter use of body-shaping substances; improve sport performance with guidelines targeting the specific needs of young women. Proven results include: less use of athletic enhancing substances; less use of diet pills; less riding in a car with a drinking driver; greater seatbelt use; less new sexual activity; improved nutrition behaviors and reduced long-term use of alcohol, marijuana and tobacco.
About ATLAS and ATHENA
Drs. Linn Goldberg and Diane Elliot began investigating the reasons young athletes used anabolic steroids, alcohol and other drugs and how to prevent their use in 1987. Since that time their research has involved more than 7,500 high school students. After developing potential strategies they applied for and received two independent research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Those programs, now known as ATLAS and ATHENA, have undergone randomized controlled evaluations involving more than 4,000 student-athletes in over 50 high schools and have been disseminated for use in more than 60 schools in 31 states and Puerto Rico. The results of the programs are published in leading medical journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
ATLAS and ATHENA are housed within the newly-created Center for Health Promotion Research at OHSU and the only programs recommended by the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004, recognized as model curricula. Financial support for the center is directed through the OHSU Foundation, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation that funds the center’s efforts to bring innovative and effective strategies to public service.
SI is a multimedia sports brand that takes the consumer into the heart and soul of sports. The SI franchise is anchored by Sports Illustrated, the most respected voice in sports journalism which reaches a weekly audience of more than 20 million adults, and SI.COM, the magazine’s 24/7 sports news website that delivers more than 150 original stories to its users each week. The SI franchise also includes Sports Illustrated For Kids (sikids.com), a monthly magazine targeted to kids age eight and up; SI PRESENTS, the magazine’s specialty publishing division; as well as SI DIGITAL, SI BOOKS, SI PICTURES, SI PRODUCTIONS and SI EVENTS. Founded in 1954, SI is a division of Time Inc., the world’s leading magazine publishing company and a subsidiary of Time Warner.
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