The Vestavia Hills City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to create a partnership between the city and the Coach Safely Foundation in a city council meeting on Dec. 17.
The Foundation championed the Coach Safety Act that was passed by Alabama Legislature last May, which requires coaches for athletes ages 14 and under to complete a course in sports injury recognition and prevention.
“The High School Athletic Association has done a great job in educating the coaches for that level, but there weren’t a lot of mandates for the state in terms of all of these municipalities. … I think Vestavia Hills is the perfect example of a forward-thinking (parks and recreation) department to prevent a lot of these injuries,” said Jack Crowe, former Jacksonville State University football coach and supporter of the Coach Safely Act.
Vestavia Hills Public Services Director Brian Davis noted that the city’s Parks and Recreation department has had a coach safety process in place for the last five years, utilizing an online course offered through a state university. Funding for the online course ran out about a year ago, Davis added.
By passing this resolution, the city now requires its coaches and volunteers involved in the city’s youth sports programs to complete safety training through the foundation’s program. They will each be added to the foundation’s registry of trained coaches and volunteers, showcasing their ability to prevent and identify a variety of sports related illnesses.
“It sends a message that our city is concerned about the safety of our youth and I can’t imagine why anyone would not be in favor of that,” said Mayor Ashley Curry.