-Ian Enriquez, School Liaison Wellness Director, Lincoln High School, San Francisco, CA
The NFL Youth Football Fund and the NFL Players Association took the initiative in 2007 to prevent steroid and other performance-enhancing drug use among young athletes nationwide. A $1.2 million grant enabled the ATLAS and ATHENA staff from Oregon Health & Science University to partner with eight NFL teams to educate 800 coaches and 20,000 student athletes about the harmful effects of performance-enhancing drug use, illicit substance use and disordered eating.
NFL ATLAS & ATHENA Schools Year 1:
- Established partnerships with 8 NFL teams
- Selected 36 High schools
- NFL teams hosted 897 student althletes and 224 coaches
- 259 high school sport teams are implementing ATLAS and ATHENA during the 2007-08 school year
Each participating NFL team, including the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers, St. Louis Rams, Miami Dolphins, Washington Redskins and San Diego Chargers selected up to six high schools in their communities to be involved in the initiative.
School liaisons, coaches and student-athlete leaders were invited to attend an all-day training at the NFL team's training facility or stadium to learn about steroids, sports nutrition and how to implement the ATLAS and ATHENA programs.
Students and coaches appreciated the opportunity to work with others from different schools and hear NFL players speak about the importance of making healthy choices. Participants were highly entertained by the presentation of student-created public service announcements. Each school received a plaque commemorating their participation in the program, a school banner, and recognition on this website.
All Participants Received the Following Promotional Items:
- "100% natural athlete" T-shirts
- Water bottles
- Commemorative Plaque
After the training, school liaisons, coaches and athletes returned to their schools to implement ATLAS and ATHENA during the sport season. Some schools were fortunate to have an NFL player visit their school and observe an ATLAS or ATHENA session.