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UAB partners with CoachSafely Foundation to limit youth sports-related injuries in Alabama

  • September 08, 2021
This partnership will help make recreational sports safer for children across the state.

Close up action of boys soccer teams playing a soccer matchThis partnership will help make recreational sports safer for children across the state. The University of Alabama at Birmingham has partnered with the CoachSafely Foundation to host the CoachSafely training course on UAB’s Canvas Learning Management System. 

UAB’s Department of Family and Community Medicine and UAB’s Sports and Exercise Medicine will collaborate with CoachSafely. This partnership was created to help further CoachSafely’s mission of limiting youth sports-related injuries and setting a new standard for safety in recreational sports across Alabama and beyond. 

The course, which is designed for coaches of all sports for youths 14 years of age and younger,  takes about 90 minutes to complete and covers topics such as emergency preparedness, communicable and infectious diseases, mental health, overuse injuries, concussions, and more. 

“Working with the CoachSafely team is a great way to connect our research and expertise in sports and exercise medicine at UAB with communities across the state,” said Kimberly Smith, Ph.D., director of the Alabama Practice-Based Research Network, director of Research Development and Analytics for the CoachSafely Foundation, and assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. “These courses will help promote and prioritize safety for young athletes and help prevent future injuries to make recreational sports safer for all kids and coaches across Alabama. 

“Our youngest athletes are not mini-professionals,” said CoachSafely Foundation CEO Drew Ferguson, who spent 45 years in sports medicine at UAB and Children’s of Alabama. “Young athletes are more vulnerable to injury than are adults due to developing bones and joints. The CoachSafely Foundation’s comprehensive, evidence-based and peer-reviewed training course is the resource every coach needs to keep our youngest athletes in the game and every youth athletics association needs to empower its coaches through education.” 

UAB faculty members will also provide additional support to the program through research and medical advising. In addition to Ferguson, UAB’s leadership role with CoachSafely also includes UAB head football coach Bill Clark, who is vice president of the CoachSafely Foundation. 

Since the passage of the Coach Safely Act in Alabama in April of 2018 — the first law of its kind in the United States — CoachSafely has designed its online course curriculum and reporting system to meet and exceed the requirements of the law. The course curriculum content was developed by the organization’s medical advisory board. To enroll in the course, learn more here.