In an effort to better educate the UW-Madison campus and surrounding communities about concussions, students with the Department of Kinesiology’s Athletic Training Program formed the Athletic Training Students for Brain Safety (ATSBS) organization in the fall of 2012.
This group, which is an extension of the Association of Athletic Training Students (AATS) organization at UW-Madison has about 25 members.
It appears to be the perfect time to be a part of such a group, as the topic of concussions in sports continue to garner increased media attention. Previous events that members of the ATSBS group have participated in include: Children’s Safety Day at the Madison Children’s Museum, Saturday Science at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery, and the Madison Rotary Club presentation. We also partnered with University Health Services to put together a brochure that spells out the symptoms of a concussion and tips to avoid head injuries.
In 2015, the ATSBS received a Baldwin Grant to begin expanding the organization throughout the state of Wisconsin. In 2016, we invited schools throughout the Great Lakes region to form their own chapter of ATSBS which is intended to model the inaugural chapter founded here at UW-Madison. Currently, we have garnered interest from over ten different schools throughout the midwest.
As a kick off event, we developed and hosted a brain safety symposium featuring speakers that are nationally known for their expertise in health policy, CTE, and concussion prevention and legislature. Attendees of the symposium included students not only from the UW-Madison campus, but also three other universities in the state of Wisconsin. Looking forward, we would like to expand nationally to further promote brain safety education.
Bucky Badger showing young students how to balance at the Wisconsin Institute of Discovery during a Saturday Science festival. He was helping the ATSBS members teach the students about concussion education.