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HSS CEO: We Owe Parents Awareness on Sports Health Risks, Benefits

The Aspen Institute publishes a Q&A interview between Tom Farrey, executive director of the Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program, and Louis A. Shapiro, president and CEO of HSS.

HSS partnered with the Aspen Institute to release the Healthy Sports Index, the nation's first-ever tool to assess the relative benefits and risks of participating in the most popular sports for high school students, based on data and expert insights collected over two years.

Mr. Shapiro shares that two of his favorite aspects of the tool are the scope of the index and its flexibility. "Not only are the top 10 high school sports for boys and girls presented, but the index also provides recommendations for complimentary sports as well as educational materials, articles, and useful resources for each sport. In addition, the tool provides users with the ability to use a sliding scale to priorities the health benefits and risks of sports participation that represent them as individuals."

He explains why HSS invested in a tool meant to prevent injuries and keep people out of hospitals. "HSS has an obligation to apply our knowledge to reduce the risk of injury, promote healthy lifestyles, and maximize human potential across the lifespan for all individuals, but most especially our children."

Mr. Shapiro hopes that sports administrators and leaders at the community, regional and national levels are encouraged to learn from this tool and leverage its information to guide their own decision-making process as it relates to the long-term health and wellness of our children, using it as a "roadmap". This tool is a valuable addition to the public health education that is provided by the HSS Sports Safety program that works with community partners to reach over 1.5 million young athletes throughout the tri-state region.

Read the full Q&A at AspenProjectPlay.org.