WASHINGTON, D.C. - Clarion University head athletic trainer Jim Thornton, the president of the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), was interviewed by several national media outlets, including CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC news this week at the fourth annual Youth Sports Safety Summit in Washington, D.C.
"At the Summit, we finalized the first-ever National Action Plan for Sports Safety and a Secondary School Student Athlete's Bill of Rights," Thornton said. "Both items were then sent to Capitol Hill Tuesday."
The National Action Plan for Sports Safety is meant to ensure comprehensive action to protect America's student-athletes.
"Our prior Summits provided the foundation for this National Action plan - the critical next step that will help keep young athletes on the field and off the sidelines with chronic, catastrophic or fatal conditions," Thornton said. "These conditions can be largely prevented, managed and treated if the right protocols are in place and properly trained medical personnel including athletic trainers are available to provide immediate care. Only 42 percent of secondary schools in the United States have access to athletic trainers. And a significantly lower percentage have athletic trainers full time."
The Secondary School Student Athletes' Bill of Rights reinforces the important rights of young athletes when participating in secondary school sports programs. It outlines essential elements that should be recognized by the athletes themselves along with their parents, school and sports officials and policymakers at all levels, according to a release by the NATA.
To view the full National Action Plan and Bill of rights, please visit http://www.youthsportssafetyalliance.org.
In addition to doing interviews with the major networks, Thornton also did four live radio shows ranging from Baton Rogue, La., to Toronto as well as recorded radio interviews that reached across the country.
"In the first 12 hours, we had 19 million public relations impressions," Thornton said.
Thornton is in his 23rd year as the head athletic trainer at Clarion University. He received the NCAA Division II Athletic Trainer of the Year award from NATA in Jun 2008. Certified by the Athletic Training board of Certification, Jim is a Performance Enhancement Specialist certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and has served as an education liaison and consultant to NASM for 12 years.
Prior to his election as NATA President, he served the NATA as both Vice President and as a member of the Board of Directors, serving as the Director of District II.
Thornton is also a member of the Clarion University faculty as well as an adjunct faculty member at California University of Pa. and Duquesne University.