…and we mean really gets around! Meet Pete Chapola, one of our former club members, with his ABGC scarf on Mount Everest. Hope it kept you warm Pete!
If you’ve been around youth sports, as a parent, player or coach then you’ve seen the alarming statistics on the number of youth concussion each year — 3.8 million sports and recreation related concussions each year.
Today the Institute of Medicine has announced the creation of a new health panel to study the risk of concussions in youth sports. Bloomberg News reports:
The risk of concussions from youth sports is being studied by a U.S. advisory medical panel as college and professional leagues have increased their scrutiny of potential sports-related brain injuries.
The Institute of Medicine has begun an investigation into concussions related to sports for players from elementary school age through young adulthood, the group said in a posting on its website. The panel will review risk factors, screening and diagnosis, as well as treatment and long-term consequences, it said in the statement. The Washington-based nonprofit organization provides advice to policy makers and the public.
Previous research has found that football is the deadliest sport among young athletes, and deaths may have been prevented if athletes with head injuries had been kept off the field, according to a 2011 study in the journal Pediatrics. A study published yesterday in the journal JAMA Neurology found physical abnormalities in the brains of former NFL players, when compared to peers.
The IOM panel said it will review available information on concussions, especially in the context of the maturing brain, and review the effectiveness of protective equipment.
The Centers for Disease Control’s “Heads Up” program provides a terrific website for coaches, players and parents to help prevent and diagnose potential concussions.
“There is no one tougher than my son. Sometimes players and parents wrongly believe that it shows strength and courage to play injured. Battling pain is glamorized. Zack couldn’t swallow or hold his head up. Strength is seeing Zack stand up out of his wheelchair and learning to talk again.” – Victor Lystedt, Zack’s Dad.
Do you know the warning signs of a concussion? If not, please take just a moment and find out on the CDC “Heads Up” website.
Sponsored by the Annandale Chamber of Commerce, this sixty-two year old tradition gets bigger and better every year. The event kicks off at 10am with the Annandale parade which makes its way along Columbia Pike from the historic white church near Gallows Road all the way back to event central in the Safeway parking lot on Little River Turnpike. The parade includes thousands of participants from Clowns, Storybook Characters, and Marching Bands to Antique & Military Cars, Fire Trucks, Civic Organizations, Scouts, and beautifully costumed International Dancers will parade before the residents of Greater Annandale.
After the parade join us for an Open House celebration of our new ABGC home at 4216 Annandale Road. We’ll have refreshments, games and prizes for our visitors.
You can find all the details on this year’s Annandale Fall Festival including vendors, performers and on the Annandale Chamber of Commerce website.
See you Saturday!
The Annandale Boys and Girls Club is a proud sponsor of this Saturday’s “Skate Annandale” Kick Off. The Patch has a great description of this project and the community’s efforts to bring a skate park to the heart of Annandale.
Hope to see you on Saturday!
Saturday, October 6th
2:30p – 5:00p
Annandale Volunteer Fire Department
7128 Columbia Pike
For more than two hours on Saturday, Annandale skate enthusiasts, parents and residents will convene at the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department for downtown Annandale’s first mobile skatepark.
Skaters of all ages and skill levels are invited to the free event, which is sponsored by American Inline and Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 6. In addition to rails, ramps and a mini half-pipe for skaters to explore, there will also be games and other activities.
Skate Annandale is the beginning of what several Annandale organizations hope will result in a permanent skateboard plaza in downtown Annandale.
Since last spring, David Starr, owner of Beanetics Coffee Roasters and Carol Z. Reuss, owner of the Annandale Shopping Center, have worked to gather support for the plaza from several local organizations such as the Annandale Chamber of Commerce, Annandale Boys and Girls Club, Annandale Women’s Club, Annandale Lion’s Club, Annanadale Central Business District Planning Committee, Knights of Columbus, the Annandale Volunteer Fire Department, Annandale area churches and commercial property owners.
The April 2012 issue of Endeavor, the Annandale Chamber’s online news magazine, states that the proposal for the skate plaza stems from the desire for Annandale youth to have “clean honest fun” without “the real risk of being hit by cars speeding in these alleyways or by large delivery trucks” while they “enjoy a bit of low level skate boarding behind any number of the shopping centers in Annandale.”
Annandale already has a skatepark in Wakefield Park, but the local groups feel that kids ages 11-15 would benefit from a skate plaza that is easily accessible by walking or biking.
“Unfortunately, this age group does not drive and walking or biking to Wakefield is a treacherous affair. If approved, the project would be built and maintained by the Park Authority and become one of many small pocket parks called for in the 2010 County Comprehensive Plan for Annandale,” the Endeavor article states.
Inquiries to Gross’s office were not returned, but the flyer states the mobile skatepark is for one afternoon only. The local organizations involved are hoping that the proposal for the plaza gets approved to make the skate plaza a permanent fixture in downtown Annandale.
All participants planning to attend on Saturday are asked to bring their own safety equipment to the event.
This season’s fall sports are now in full swing — parents gather on the sidelines to cheer for their young athletes, volunteer coaches hope the lessons taught in this week’s practices are remembered, and the athletes themselves range from nervous to clueless. Ahh…such is the life of youth athletics.
But what’s becoming all too common these days are extreme cases of adults gone wild. You know it when you see it. The Mom or Dad who chases her child down the sideline with minute by minute advice (or worse), coaches and parents who yell at young players or referees as if each play could determine the very future of every child on the field, and then there are those fans who only know how to cheer for their child to the exclusion of everyone else on the team.
ABGC takes the issue of sportsmanship on the field extremely seriously. Each of our coaches signs a Code of Conduct designed to keep sportsmanship at the heart of all we do. Our Annandale parents also play an important role here too. Together we can ensure our young athletes learn, grow and have fun on the field. Toward that end, the Positive Coaching Alliance is a non-profit organization created to educate parents, coaches and clubs about the importance of sportsmanship. We highly recommend their website to anyone involved in youth athletics. There are online tools for Parents, Coaches, Officials and more.
Lastly, here’s a more heart-wrenching reminder of just how important sportsmanship is to our young athletes. It’s written for Little Leaguers but applies equally well to all youth sports. Please share it widely with your friends, fans and coaches this season. Help us keep sportsmanship at the heart of every game we play.
He’s Just a Little Boy
He stands at the plate with his heart pounding fast;
The bases are loaded; the die has been cast.
Mom and Dad cannot help him; he stands all alone.
A hit at this moment would send the team home.
The ball nears the plate; he swings and he misses.
There’s a groan from the crow, with some
Boos and hisses.
A thoughtless voice cries, “Strike out the bum!”
Tears fill his eyes; the game’s no longer fun.
So open your heart and give him a break.
For it’s moments like this a man you can make.
Keep this in mind when you hear someone forget,
He’s just a little boy, not a man yet.
The source of this poem is somewhat illusive but it’s most often attributed to Chaplain Bob Fox who was a former minor league pitcher and Little League team manager.
Santa and his elves stopped by Annandale Boys & Girls Club with a message:
Wishing you and your family a most joyous Holiday Season! Please take a moment this week to tell your Coaches and Athletes how much you appreciate all their hard work.
As a Reminder:
With all the rain we’ve had recently the severe lack of field space in Fairfax County becomes all the more obvious–in fact, Fairfax County could probably use 100′s of “Fields of Dreams”. But in these tight budget times it’s fair to say we likely won’t be seeing the kind of new field construction the county’s many, many athletic programs could support.
The truth is, the ABGC may not be able to grow and serve additional youth if additional field space is not allocated for our club’s use in the future. We have the systems, structure and organization to serve more youth, but not the field space. While the club has sufficient space currently, we are bumping up against the limit.
In order to serve such a large group of youth involves important partnerships. The biggest partner we have is Fairfax County, where we work closely with the Schools and Park System to make efficient use of the public facilities we support collectively as citizens and taxpayers.
We want to be proactive about managing the field shortage situation, but need your help. If you work for Fairfax County or know some of the executives or elected officials, please discuss this situation with them. If you have suggestions as to how to positively address this challenge, please contact our President, Kip Germain, through the ABGC office at 703-941-4411.