Arizona Pop Warner Football and Cheer and Mayo Clinic recently announced a collaboration to conduct medical research about the effects of sport-related injuries, like concussions.
All participants ages 10 years and older in Arizona Pop Warner’s flag and tackle football programs, as well as all participants in the organization’s cheerleading programs, will be required to complete a comprehensive evaluation prior to play, including baseline testing.
“This is a very serious issue and one that we want to address immediately,” said Paul Watkins, Arizona Pop Warner Football and Cheer commissioner. “Youth football and cheer have so many wonderful benefits for kids, both on the field of play and in life. Our goal is to continue to provide these experiences and these benefits for our kids in the safest way possible. Between Arizona Pop Warner and Mayo Clinic, it is our duty to help drive the national conversation and spearhead research so that players and parents can feel confident about participating in youth football and cheer.”
The two organizations will officially launch the program at a state-wide clinic for Arizona Pop Warner’s Football and Cheer coaches on July 26 in Phoenix. David Dodick M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and an expert in concussion care and director of the Mayo Clinic Concussion Program, will present the program details to more than 250 Arizona Pop Warner Football and Cheer coaches and administrators who are expected to be in attendance.