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Decorah High School receives National Athletic Trainers' Association Safe Sports School Award

Posted: Thu, Sep 10, 2020 3:53 PM
(Left to right): Jane Murphy, Mya Numedahl, Hailey Gossman, WMC Trainer Kelly Rueckert, Dawson Headington, Briggs Duwe and Brody Young

Decorah High School is receiving the National Athletic Trainers' Association Safe Sports School award.

The award champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that have met the recommended standards to improve safety in sports. The award reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention, and treatment.

 "Decorah High School is honored to receive this 1st Team recognition from NATA," said High School Activities Director Adam Riley.  "With the continued support and leadership from Athletic Trainer Kelli Rueckert and the Winneshiek Medical Center staff, we remain committed to keeping our student athletes safe during practices and competitions so they stay healthy to accomplish their goals in both the academic and athletic settings."  Added Riley, "This recognition is a great reflection of our great health care providers in our community as well as the great dedication of our emergency services providers and local law enforcement."

In order to achieve Safe Sports School status, as Decorah High School did, athletic programs must do the following:

    Create a positive athletic health care administrative system
    Provide or coordinate preparticipation physical examinations
    Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities
    Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment
    Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes
    Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions
    Provide or facilitate injury intervention
    Create and rehearse a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan
    Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education
    Be sure athletes and parents are educated about the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities

To apply, schools complete an in-depth questionnaire that assesses adherence to best practice standards and recommendations.

For more information about the Safe Sports School Award, visit