FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - May 24, 2006
Sports Illustratedand Oregon Health & Science University
NEW YORK, NY – May 24 – Sports Illustrated and the Center for Health Promotion at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) announced four high schools in the state of Michigan to be part of the model SI Schools steroid and drug prevention initiative designed for high school athletes. The schools chosen include: L.L. Wright High School in Irownwood, Lutheran High School North in Macomb, Mt. Pleasant High School in Mt. Pleasant and Spring Lake High School in Spring Lake.
The SI Schools program was created as a result of OHSU being selected as the recipient of Sports Illustrated’s first SI Champion Award, presented to a non-profit which has done exemplary work in the sports arena. The grant awarded to OHSU by Sports Illustrated, valued at one million dollars in cash and public service announcements, is being used to fund the implementation of the landmark ATLAS and ATHENA steroid and drug prevention/health promotion programs in high schools designated as SI Schools in four states across the country.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association will host a special Sports Illustrated/ATLAS and ATHENA conference on Thursday, November 9, at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. School officials, athletic directors and coaches will be invited to learn more about the problem of drug use in sports and the ATLAS and ATHENA programs. Speakers will include experts on drug prevention education, Sports Illustrated staff and sports medicine professionals.
The four schools chosen 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 throughout Michigan had the opportunity to apply to become an SI School.
“We intend that the foour schools will be the first of many MHSAA member schools to have staff and student leaders trained to implement the comprehensive ATLAS and ATHENA programs,” said John E. Roberts, Executive Director of the MHSAA. “We expect these schools to execute the plan locally and serve as ambassadors to help spread the training statewide.”
The MHSAA was one of four state high school athletic/activities associations selected to receive a grant from Sports Illustrated and the Center for Health Promotion Research at OHSU to inform educators about the problem of young athletes, drugs and sports and implement the ATLAS and ATHENA programs. The other state recipients are Oregon, Florida, and Virginia. Over the past month, the associations in each state and the Center for Health Promotion Research have announced a minimum of four winning high schools. To date, there are 29 SI Schools, including Michigan’s.
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.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership of over 1,800 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.
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