President Barack Obama hugs Victoria Bellucci, a 2014 graduate of Huntingtown High School in Huntingtown, Md., after she introduced Obama to speak at the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Bellucci played four years of women’s varsity soccer where she was a team captain and an All-State selection. By the time her high school and club soccer careers ended in 2013, Bellucci had suffered five concussions. President Obama was hosting the summit with representatives of professional sports leagues, coaches, parents, young athletes, researchers and others to call attention to the issue of youth sports concussions.
President Barack Obama talks at the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit. Listening is Dr. Gerard Gioia
President Barack Obama is introduced by Victoria Belluci of Huntington, Md. at the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit. Listening are moderator Pam Oliver and Dr. Gerard Gioia
CBS: President Obama Calls For More Robust Research Into Youth Concussions
The commander-in-chief wants to know more. President Barack Obama called Thursday for more robust research into youth concussions, saying there remains deep uncertainty over both the scope of the troubling issue and the long-term impacts on young people. “We want our kids participating in sports,” Obama said as he opened a day-long summit on concussions at the White House. “As parents though, we want to keep them safe and that means we have to have better information.” The summit signaled an effort by Obama to use the power of the presidency to elevate a national conversation over youth concussions. The White House brought together representatives of professionalsports leagues, coaches, parents, young athletes, medical professionals and others for the event.
"Sports teach us about teamwork and hard work and what it takes to succeed not only on the field, but in life." —Obama #HeadsUp4Safety
Obama, an avid sports fan and father of two daughters involved in athletics, highlighted millions of dollars in pledges and other support from the National Football League, the National Institutes of Health and others to conduct research that could begin to provide answers and improve safety. Among the financial commitments is a $30 million joint research effort by the NCAA and Defense Department and an NFL commitment of $25 million over the next three years to promote youth sports safety. A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can be caused by a blow to the head, or a blow to the body powerful enough to jostle the brain around inside the skull. Nearly 250,000 kids and young adults visit hospital emergency rooms each year with brain injuries caused by sports or other recreational activity, the White House said.
President Barack Obama shakes hands with former football player Lavar Arrington, as former professional soccer player and current ESPN analyst Taylor Twellman watches
USA Today: Obama: We Need ‘Better Data’ On Sports Concussions
President Obama told a White House meeting of athletes, coaches and medical experts Thursday that there are no “solid numbers” on the extent of the concussion problem in football and other contact sports. “We’ve got to have better research, better data, better safety equipment, better protocols,” Obama said at the first White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit. While “sports are vital to this country,”
"That’s what today’s about—let’s give parents the information they need to help their kids compete safely." —President Obama #HeadsUp4Safety
Obama said, society needs to make sure that young people “are able to participate as safely as possible.” The purpose of the summit is to look for better ways to determine the severity of head injuries that could affect the brain, and how to treat them. Moreover, adults need to discourage a “suck-it-up” culture that encourages young athletes to pay through pain, Obama said.
President Barack Obama speaks at the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit. Pictured from left to right: LaVar Arrington, former NFL linebacker; Victoria Bellucci, a high school soccer player from Huntingtown, Md.; Taylor Twellman, former professional soccer player; Gen. Ray Odierno, Chief of Staff of the United States Army; R. Dawn Comstock, who runs the national high school sports injury surveillance program called High School RIO; Gerard A Gioia, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Neuropsychology at Children’s National Medical Center, Pam Oliver, a reporter with NFL on FOX
Youth sports concussions draw Obama's attention, #NCAA and Defense Department launch $30M effort: apne.ws/1ivCnGf