The National Football League and National Parent Teacher Association today announced the creation of a new youth sports and wellness partnership that will launch across the United States this fall.
The “Back to Sports” initiative will rely upon PTA leaders throughout the country to educate local parents and community members about youth health and fitness through “Back to Sports Nights.” The topics, which will be presented by school leaders and community members, will range anywhere from concussion education to tips on how to keep children active year-round.
“We are very pleased to join the PTA on youth health and fitness,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in a statement. “These are vitally important issues to our organizations, and we are proud to be working together to help educate communities on safety and fitness as our children head back to the playing fields this fall.”
Goodell joined National PTA President Betsy Landers at the National PTA’s annual convention in Cincinnati to make the announcement. The National PTA had never before partnered with a sports organization before agreeing to join the NFL for this “Back to Sports” program. Likewise, Goodell’s appearance at the convention marks the first time a sports commissioner has attended the event to address PTA members.
After announcing the partnership, the commissioner took part in a panel with Dr. Elizabeth Pieroth, a head-injury consultant for the Chicago Bears, and former NFL linebacker LaVar Arrington on “health and safety for a new generation.” The panel touched upon the role parents play in terms of their children’s participation in athletic activities and the benefits of participating in youth sports.
Both Arrington and Pieroth are members of the USA Football Heads Up Football advisory committee, which convened for the first time at the end of May. (Incoming PTA President Otha Thornton is also a member of the advisory committee.) The committee aims to promote safe playing techniques across youth-football leagues nationwide.
The committee’s first meeting last month, which Goodell personally attended, featured demonstrations of proper helmet fit and proper tackling techniques.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.