FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - July 27, 2006
Model Schools in Steroid Education, Drug and Alcohol & Healthy
EAST LANSING, Mich. – July 27 – One of the most important pre-season training sessions for four Michigan high schools will take place on Thursday (August 3) at the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s headquarters in East Lansing when over 70 coaches and athletic administrators take part in training funded by Sports Illustrated and delivered by members of the Center for Health Promotion Research at the Oregon Health & Science University. The training will enable the coaches and administrators to deliver a steroid and drug prevention and health promotion program to students in their respective schools.
The model SI Schools selected in the Spring to participate in this program are Ironwood L.L. Wright High School, Macomb Lutheran North High School, Mt. Pleasant High School and Spring Lake High School. The coaches and administrators from each school will be trained to deliver the ATLAS and ATHENA steroid and drug prevention/health promotion programs for boys and girls; and will receive workbooks, manuals and guides to use when conducting a series of sessions locally. The value of the program to each high school is about $25,000.
The training program is one of two offerings being made through the Sports Illustrated program to MHSAA member schools during 2006-07. On November 9, the MHSAA will host a day-long conference for school coaches and administrators at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. This conference will feature local and national speakers, and encourage more schools to implement ATLAS and ATHENA programs. The MHSAA was one of four high school athletic associations selected for this model program, along with Oregon, Florida and Virginia; which conducted their conferences in the Spring.
“We have said repeatedly that the essence of high school sports is local, and through the resources of Sports Illustrated and the wonderful ATLAS and ATHENA programming created by the Oregon Health & Science University, will begin to find its way into our model schools, make a positive impact on our kids there, and then fan out to other schools,” said John E. “Jack” Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. “We look at these upcoming events as an important step in educating our young people about the perils of drug use and the benefits of healthy lifestyle choices.”
In attendance from Oregon Health & Science University at the training session will be Dr. Linn Goldberg and Dr. Diane Elliot, the co-creators of ATLAS and ATHENA; Melissa Durham, the director of communications for CHPR; and CHPR trainer-partnerships manager Sean Kolmer.
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. ATHENA (Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives), which began reaching high schools for female athletes in 1999, features the promotion of healthy nutrition and effective strength training as alternatives to harmful behaviors.
Drs. Goldberg and 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. 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.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by 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.
MEDIA ADVISORY – Members of the media are invited to observe the training session at the MHSAA headquarters on Thursday. The program runs from 9 a.m. and concludes at 2:15 p.m. Representatives from ATLAS, ATHENA, the participating schools and the MHSAA will be available for interviews during the course of the program and at its conclusion. Feel free to share this information with your news or education reporters if you believe that’s how your outlet would approach this story. Please contact Andy Frushour, Marketing Coordinator (517.332.5046 or firstname.lastname@example.org) at the MHSAA, if you would like to attend.
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