The Indianapolis Colts showed their commitment to student-athlete health and safety by recently hosting 18 Indiana high-school football programs at the team complex.
The inaugural HELMETs event on June 30th was a collaboration between the Colts and UnitedHealthcare to enhance healthy and safety of young athletes through proper equipment, education and training.
In addition to hearing from retired Colts offensive tackle Ryan Diem and participating in a Heads Up FootballTM clinic conducted by USA Football, the culmination of the inaugural HELMETs sweepstakes awarded Tri-West Hendricks High School the grand prize of new 5-star helmets for the varsity football program (valued at $25,000). Seventeen remaining finalists each received a $1,000 donation to the school’s athletic department.
“We are excited to host the culmination of the inaugural HELMETs initiative,” said Matt Godbout, Colts senior vice president of business development. “Our partnership with UnitedHealthcare is off to a great start, and we look forward to growing the game of football together through education and safe equipment.”
HELMETs encourages and motivates Indiana high-school football programs to strengthen their commitment to player health and safety by enrolling in USA Football’s Heads Up Football program – endorsed by leading medical associations and the NFL – to advance coaching education and student-athlete safety.
“UnitedHealthcare is grateful for the opportunity to join the Indianapolis Colts and USA Football in advancing young athletes’ health and safety,” said Dan Krajnovich, president and CEO, UnitedHealthcare of Indiana and Kentucky. “HELMETs connects coaches, parents and athletes with tools and resources to address the issues that affect athletes. These finalists are outstanding examples of high schools and coaching staffs committed to providing students with the knowledge and skills they need to protect themselves on the field.”
The 18 high schools nominated by fans as part of the sweepstakes were Avon, Carmel, Chesterton, Decatur Central, Delphi, East Noble, Evansville F.J. Reitz, Fishers, Lapel, Monrovia, New Castle Chrysler, New Prairie, Plymouth, Roncalli, Southport, Tri, Tri-West and West Washington.
“HELMETs is an important and exciting partnership for the good of student-athletes across our home state, and we’re pleased to contribute to it,” said USA Football CEO Scott Hallenbeck. “Coaches are teachers. Supporting their programs with education and quality equipment are powerful catalysts for exceptional and fun football experiences that fuel lasting fitness, academic and social benefits.”
USA Football is a member of the U.S. Olympic Committee and trains more high school and youth football coaches combined than any organization in the country.
To be eligible for the next HELMETs sweepstakes, Indiana high-school football programs must commit to enhancing player health and safety through Heads Up Football certification. Heads Up Football offers certification clinics, combined with an online curriculum, to educate coaches about Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-approved concussion recognition and response protocols, proper equipment fitting, Heads Up tackling, Heads Up blocking, heat emergency preparedness and hydration, and sudden cardiac arrest. More details about USA Football’s Heads Up Football program can be found at www.usafootball.com/headsup.
UnitedHealthcare serves nearly 870,000 people in Indiana with network of 170 hospitals and nearly 21,000 physicians and other care providers statewide.
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