For the second year in a row, coaches and referees participating in Wythe County Youth Football and Cheerleading will be required to undergo a one-hour concussion training workshop prior to the fall 2015 football season.

Preventing youth concussions is a major priority for the county’s youth football league and Wythe County Parks & Recreation officials have made educating participants its number one goal.

“Education is power and we’re doing everything we can to make for sure that the parents, referees and coaches have all the resources they need to keep kids safe,” said Scotty Vaught, the county’s youth sports coordinator.

Vaught, who has worked in youth athletics for over eighteen years, said the league is going out of its way to prevent concussions from ever happening in the first place.

“Our coaches are training the players on how to properly tackle so as to reduce the risk of concussion. The parents are receiving literature detailing concussion prevention – we’re taking this very seriously.”

In the event of a concussion, the county is also taking a proactive stance in treatment.

In partnership with Heartland Rehabilitation Services, the county will be hosting a mandatory concussion seminar for all football and cheerleading coaches and referees.

The hour-long event will be held at Wytheville Community College in 218 Carroll Hall.

“We realize that a lot of people are vacationing in July and so we’re holding two separate workshops – this will ensure everyone is able to attend at least one of the courses,” said Vaught.

The two seminars are scheduled for Thursday, July 16 at 7 p.m. and Tuesday, July 28 at 7 p.m.

Traci Roberts, who serves as Heartland’s regional director of operations will be the primary speaker for both events, while Vaught will be fielding questions pertaining to youth football protocol and policies.

The seminar will provide volunteers with information relating to how to spot signs of concussions, common symptoms, as well as how to administer pre-arrival care to athletes who may have suffered from a concussion.

Parents will also be given concussion related information at the start of the football season.

Individuals wishing to learn more about the concussion workshop are encouraged to contact Scotty Vaught: (276) 223-4518 or scotty.vaught@wythecounty.org.

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