News & Updates

BFA and EFHS Earn Safe Sport School Award

Both Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans and Enosburg Falls High School recently earned the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School award. The award champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that provide safe environments for student athletes. The award reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment.

NMC’s Lead Athletic Trainer Danielle Trombley said, “We are very fortunate that our athletic training staff and BFA and Enosburg Falls High Schools are able to work so closely with each other to provide the best level of care to our communities student athletes.  BFA and Enosburg are very deserving of such award as they and NMC’s athletic trainers are always collaborating to ensure we are ahead of the game and up to date at all times with our protocols. Student athlete safety is our top priority and to be recognized for this hard work is wonderful.”

Work toward the award partnered athletic staff from both schools and Athletic Trainers (AT) from Northwestern Medical Center to ensure the proper processes are in place to ensure top-notch care, as well injury prevention and treatment for student athletes. NMC’s AT staff are part of the Northwestern Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Center (NWORC), an integrated and highly-trained team at the hospital.

BFA’s Athletic Director Dan Marlow said, “BFA’s national recognition by the National Athletic Trainers Association as a designated Safe School is just another example of the efforts of Northwestern Medical Center in providing the best possible Athletic Training services for our schools and community for the past 10 years. BFA would like to extend their special thanks to Julie Pecor of NMC and all of her efforts to make this designation become a reality. ”

“It is an honor to be recognized for something that BFA has done right for many years which is having a comprehensive athletic healthcare plan,” said Julie Pecor, AT. “The athletic trainers at NMC and the athletic department at BFA work hard to provide their student athletes with the best level of care as possible and to keep the coaches educated and prepared in sports safety.”

Chris Brigham, the Athletic Director at EFHS was excited to achieve the Safe Sports School 1st Team Award. “With the help from our school nurse, support from our administration and the hard work of our Athletic Trainer Natalie Crowley, we were able to meet the criteria needed for eligibility,” he said. “With Natalie’s leadership on this initiative we will continue to work toward the safest athletic experience that we can offer for our student athletes”

Crowley, a Certified AT with NWORC, said: “This is a great reward after a successful first complete academic year with an Athletic Trainer at the high school. EFHS could not have done this without the teamwork of EFHS staff and our team of athletic trainers.”

“We remain committed to the health and welfare of young athletes in competitive sports,” says NATA President Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC. “This award recognizes the contributions and commitment of schools across the country that are implementing safe sports policies and best practices to ensure athletes can do what they love best and have the appropriate care in place to prevent, manage and treat injuries should they occur.”

In order to achieve Safe Sport School status, as (name of school) did, athletic programs must do the following:

  • Create a positive athletic health care administrative system
  • Provide or coordinate pre-participation 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 of the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities


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