Mason Partners with Youth Football League to Improve Safety for Young Athletes

The partnership will work to improve youth sport safety through on-site medical care and professional expertise from athletic trainers and physicians that will inform feature league safety policies.

Graduate students and faculty from CEHD’s Division of Health and Human Performance, as well as from the Sports Medicine Assessment Research and Testing (SMART) Laboratory, will be on hand at select CLYFL games to provide consultation and medical coverage to youth athletes.

“We are very excited to be partnering with the Central Loudoun Youth Football League because of their dedication in becoming a leader in player safety at the youth level,” says Shane Caswell, associate professor of athletic training and director of the SMART Laboratory in CEHD. “We hope the new partnership will become an example to other youth sports leagues around the country to examine their own safety policies to help ensure a safe playing environment.”

Caswell has been working with CLYFL to help improve the league’s education program for coaches, revise and update its concussion policy and procedures and review its injury surveillance processes.

As part of a graduate assistantship program beginning this month, Mason alum Ashley Ausborn, BS, Athletic Training ’11, will work with the CLYFL to provide first-line treatment to youth athletes on the sidelines of the league’s games that have the greatest risk for injury. As a Virginia licensed and nationally certified athletic trainer, Ausborn is currently pursuing a master’s degree in exercise, fitness and health promotion at Mason.

Ausborn will be working alongside David Johnson and Timothy Johnson, physicians from the National Sports Medicine Institute and approved clinical instructors in Mason’s athletic training education program.

“Central Loudoun Youth Football is very excited about our partnership with Mason.  Shane Caswell and Rickie Atkins, CLYFL’s director of safety, have done a wonderful job updating the league’s safety policies, providing training for the coaches, and creating an advanced injury reporting system that will help us track and follow up on injured players,” says Roly Rigual CLYFL president.  “Our goal is to provide a fun and safe environment for our players and cheerleaders.  We hope this program will continue to grow and become an example for other youth sports.”

The CLYFL is a nonprofit organization that provides a formal sports program for boys and girls in the central Loudoun and Leesburg areas. Its mission is to teach good sportsmanship, teamwork and leadership skills.

The SMART Laboratory serves as the primary research facility for faculty and students in Mason’s Division of Health and Human Performance. The laboratory strives to enhance the quality of life for all physically active individuals through the development and improvement of methods for the prevention, recognition and treatment of injury and disease.

About George Mason University
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Media Contact: Catherine Ferraro, [email protected] 703-993-8813