SOURCES: American Youth Football & Cheer, TeachAids

Miami Beach, Florida (Feb 19, 2019) – Today, American Youth Football & Cheer, the world’s largest youth football and cheer organization, announced a new partnership with TeachAids, a nonprofit leader in global education innovation, dedicated to educating young athletes about concussions. The partnership will be executed through CrashCourse, an interactive learning experience that aims to improve awareness and understanding around concussions among the 38 million youth actively engaged in sports across the United States.

Developed alongside Stanford University’s leading education, engineering, and medical researchers, and with input from their world-class coaches and student-athletes, CrashCourse offers a uniquely immersive experience in both HD and Virtual Reality that caters specifically to young athletes.

Through their partnership, American Youth Football & Cheer and TeachAids will make CrashCourse concussion education materials available to the over 1 million children, coaches, and parents participating in the organization nationwide.

“Football plays such a huge role in American culture,” statedJoe Galat, President and Founder of American Youth Football. “If we want to keep the tradition of the sport alive, we need to start to educate our players from the moment they step onto the field. At AYF, we believe proper training enriches the experience for players, competitors, and spectators alike. That is why we are proud to expand our concussion education programs by partnering with TeachAids to implement CrashCourse in the coming year. Given what we know about concussions today, the younger we teach these athletes the better.”

“Sports like football can help kids learn the fundamental values of discipline, teamwork and self-esteem,” explained Matt Birk, 6 time Pro Bowl selection and 2012 Super Bowl Champion with the Baltimore Ravens. “As a former member of the NFL and someone who has championed those values for young players throughout my career, I can say with confidence that CrashCourse is a monumental first step toward understanding concussions starting with society’s most important demographic. This program quite literally changes the game.”

“In order to educate young athletes effectively about concussions, we need a curriculum delivered by voices that youth can admire and trust,” saidDr. Piya Sorcar, founder and CEO of TeachAids. “Our research shows that students want to learn from someone relatable that has overcome similar challenges rather than from doctors, teachers or coaches. That’s where a near peer focused program like CrashCourse comes in. We want to teach athletes how to recognize the signs of a concussion and remove the stigma of asking for help early on. The younger we instill these lessons in athletes, the sooner we can set a different precedent about how to address concussions going forward.”

An estimated 2.5 million concussions occur every year in the US alone, yet the injury itself is surrounded by myths and misconceptions,” said Brian Hainline, MD, NCAA Chief Medical Officer. “Unlike more ‘visible’ injuries such as a broken bone, concussions are not always physically evident. With better prevention education like CrashCourse and evolving treatment protocols, we can further support athletes to help improve their safety and performance. CrashCourse is teaching young people how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion and how to empathize with those who experience this injury. The impact is invaluable.”

CrashCourse was developed with the world’s leading clinical and medical experts in concussions and curriculum development. More than one thousand people have contributed to the CrashCourse education program, including hundreds of student-athletes. The interactive curriculum features All-American running back and Doak Walker award-winner Bryce Love along with Stanford Captains Alameen Murphy, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Brandon Simmons, and wide-receiver Trenton Irwin.

This year, CrashCourse will release an interactive virtual reality component of their curriculum, along with several other expansions:  

  • A symptom simulator, which uses virtual reality to help students recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion and empathize with those who have experienced similar injuries

  • A brain fly-through using a 3D representation of an actual brain, to help students better understand the brain’s complexity and appreciate its vulnerability

  • A series of short interactive videos featuring high-profile athletes to complement the information provided by near-peer sources  

The CrashCourse curriculum will be instituted throughout American Youth Football’s programs nationwide starting today. The program is also available for free by visiting: http://crashcourse.teachaids.org.

About American Youth Football

American Youth Football, Inc. (AYF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and National Youth Partner of the National Football League. AYF provides support services, scholarships, grants, “Giving Back” programs and tournaments to over 500,000 youth members. Representing participants in over 2000 cities, AYF is the only youth football program with members in all 50 states and several countries worldwide. AYF is committed to Giving Back and since its inception in 1996, has successfully donated over $14 million dollars in grants and athletic products to communities that support youth football. AYF offers all-inclusive football and cheer divisions enabling every child a place and an opportunity to play. Visit www.americanyouthfootall.com for more information or follow us on Twitter @AYF, Facebook @AYFandAYC, and Instagram @americanyouthfootball.

About CrashCourse by TeachAids

TeachAids is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit social venture that creates breakthrough software addressing numerous persistent problems in health education around the world. CrashCourse is the second free health education program launched by TeachAids in collaboration with Stanford University, following the global success of its award-winning HIV/AIDS interactive software, which is used in 82 countries around the world. It is backed by Google, Microsoft, Barclays, UNICEF, and others, and partnered with 250+ governments, school systems, and NGOs around the world. TeachAids was recognized as an innovation that would "change the world"​ by MIT Technology Review and is a global laureate of the Tech Awards for benefiting humanity. For more information on TeachAids visit TeachAids.org or follow us on Twitter @TeachAids, Facebook @TeachAids, YouTube at TeachAids, and Instagram at @teachaids.