Village Christian School has received the National Athletic Trainers’
Association’s Safe Sports School First Team award, making it
one of 21 schools in California and fewer than 600 nationwide to receive the honor as of December 2015.
According to the NATA, the award, which was first implemented in 2013,
recognizes schools that provide safe environments for student-athletes
and reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury
prevention, and treatment.
“The Safe Sports School award is a tremendous honor and a validation
of the hard work we have put into making sure our student-athletes can
compete at a high level in a safe environment,” said VCS head athletic
trainer Diana Putignano. “Athletic trainers play a vital role in
designing and implementing safety protocols in athletics, and we will
continue to seek out innovative ways to promote the best possible healthcare
to all student-athletes.”
The award term lasts through 2018, after which, VCS and its procedures
will be re-evaluated to ensure the qualifying standards remain in place.
“We remain committed to the health and welfare of young athletes
in competitive sports,” said NATA President Scott Sailor, EdD, ATC,
in a statement. “This award recognizes the contributions and commitment
of schools across the country that are implementing safe sports policies
and best practices to ensure athletes can do what they love best and have
the appropriate care in place to prevent, manage and treat injuries should
According to the NATA, athletic programs must do the following in order
to achieve Safe Sports School status:
- Create a positive athletic health care administrative system
- Provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations
- Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities
- Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment
- Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat
- Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for
- Provide or facilitate injury intervention
- Create and rehearse a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan
- Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education
- Be sure athletes and parents are educated of the potential benefits and
risks in sports as well as their responsibilities
Village Christian’s sports medicine program includes a team of athletic
training students, undergraduate assistants from California State University,
Northridge, and an assistant certified athletic trainer providing medical
coverage for the athletic programs offered at VCS.
“It is great to be recognized by a prestigious national organization
for the amazing work of our Athletic Training staff and our coaches,"
said Head of School Tom Konjoyan.