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For Immediate Release: 6/21/13
NFL, National PTA Join Forces on Youth Health and Fitness
Commissioner Goodell, PTA Leadership Launch Partnership at Annual PTA Convention

The NFL and the National PTA today announced a partnership on youth health and fitness, launching nationwide this fall.  The “Back to Sports” initiative will help PTA leaders across the country educate their communities on youth wellness—from concussion education to NFL PLAY 60 tips on nutrition and staying active. Local PTAs will plan “Back to Sports Nights,” engaging parents and community leaders on ways to help their kids stay safer and healthier as they head back to the sports field this fall.

The announcement was made by NFL Commissioner ROGER GOODELL and outgoing National PTA President BETSY LANDERS at the annual National PTA Convention in Cincinnati, OH. 

“Back to Sports Nights” will combine information on NFL PLAY 60 and safety resources for young athletes and their families, presented by local community and school leaders—doctors, physical education teachers, nurses, and others. They will engage parents and students in how to create a culture of sports safety and wellness.

“We are very pleased to join the PTA on youth health and fitness,” said Commissioner Goodell.  “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.”

“We are so pleased and excited to work with the NFL on such an important partnership,” said Landers. “Together, with the NFL, we want to make sports fun and safe for our children.”

The “Back to Sports” initiative marks the first time the National PTA has partnered with a sports organization, and Commissioner Goodell’s appearance at the PTA Convention is the first time a sports commissioner has addressed PTA constituents at the event.

At the convention, Commissioner Goodell joined DR. ELIZABETH PIEROTH and former player LAVAR ARRINGTON in a panel discussion on Health and Safety for a New Generation.  Dr. Pieroth practices at Northshore University HealthSystem            and is a head injury consultant for the Chicago Bears, Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago Fire. Arrington played linebacker for the Washington Redskins and New York Giants. Both Arrington and Pieroth are members of the USA Football Heads Up Football Advisory Committee. Arrington is also a Heads Up Football Ambassador, working with a youth league in Maryland to reinforce the Heads Up message.

The panel discussed the important role parents play in making decisions about their children’s recreational activities, the rewards of sports participation, and Arrington’s reflections on the lessons he learned from football, lessons he is now passing on as part of Heads Up Football.

The NFL and PTA share a commitment to youth health and wellness. In 2011, the PTA passed a resolution on Head Injury Reporting, encouraging the PTA and its constituents to educate members and school personnel on head injuries in collaboration with state and local education agencies. Incoming PTA President OTHA THORNTON is a member of the Heads Up Football Advisory Committee, demonstrating his commitment to the important issue of youth safety.

The NFL makes the health and safety of its players a priority. This commitment extends to football players at all ages and also benefits other sports.  At the youth level, the NFL’s support for USA Football, including its Heads Up Football initiative, helps parents, coaches, clinicians and athletes understand the signs and symptoms of possible head injuries. The NFL has successfully advocated for the passage of youth concussion laws in 48 states. Through funding for medical studies, collaboration with the military, and the work of the NFL’s medical committees, the NFL is committed to advancing science that will have an impact far beyond football. The NFL launched PLAY 60 in 2007, aimed at reversing the trend of youth obesity and getting kids active for 60 minutes a day, regardless of the activity. Since the program was created, the NFL has committed more than $250 million to youth health and fitness through programming, grants, and media time for public service announcements.
About National PTA
National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.


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