On February 2, 2002, sixteen parents mourning the recent sports related death of their children invited me to attend a three day meeting in Pennsylvania. They knew of the work that I was doing as the editor-in-chief of MomsTeam.com since 1999 to educate parents about ways to prevent catastrophic injury and death while our children play sports.
They asked if I could do more and “would I publish additional articles about the charities they had set up in their children's memory, and to continue to provide parents and the youth sports community with current and reliable sports safety information so that no other children died while playing youth sports.”
They also stressed the need for a neutral organization like MomsTEAM to serve as an umbrella for the private charities that they each had set up; to allow them to continue the important work they were doing at the grassroots level to educate people about the critical need for life-saving equipment and safety standards in youth sports. Out of these meetings The Teams of Angels was formed in 2002. MomsTEAM would set up our foundation to provide support and information to help bring families together.
Our first national campaign ran from 2003-2005. It was called: SAVE A CHILDS LIFE: An AED for Every Team. The Teams of Angels and MomsTeam.com provided over six hundred AEDs, either at cost or for outright donations, to organizations that serve youth athletes.
In August of 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) joined forces with the Teams of Angels and MomsTeam.com to help promote Head Injury Awareness with information on concussions in youth athletes. The CDC campaign entitled, "Heads Up: Concussion in Youth Sports" recognized along with others, that MomsTeam and Teams of Angels are the Pioneer's in Youth Sports Concussion education and information and outreach as well as all other types of youth sports injuries; not just physical by emotional, psychological and sexual.
Between 1999 and today, we have covered a lot of ground and visited every corner of the nation a number of times over. I was on a national youth sports safety media tour in 2000 where I appeared on over twenty-five live morning TV shows, mostly NBC and FOX during the month of April, which was designated as Youth Sports Safety Month, to teach ways of keeping sports active kids safe, and I repeated the tour with over 30 live NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX live shows again in 2011. In 2006, my book HOME TEAM ADVANTAGE: The Critical Role of Youth Sports Mothers was published by Harper Collins and again I crisscrossed the nation educating parents, coaches and others on how to keep sports active children safe as part of their speakers bureau. In 2012, we produced THE SMARTEST TEAM: Making High School Football Safer which is currently airing on PBS nationwide and last year I established the MomsTEAM Institute to run MomsTEAM, to produce more PBS documentaries and run a national program called “SmartTeams Play Safe™.” To accomplish our goals I convened a dream team of some of the nation’s top experts for our Board of Directors and Board of Advisors to help with this mission. SmartTeams in now in six pilot programs nationwide for youth football leagues and in 2015 we will expand the program across the nation.
This past Monday we kicked off the Smart Teams Play Safe™ national campaign with our first ever summit; “SmartTeams play safe: Protecting the Health and Safety of the Whole Child in Youth Sports by Implementing Best Practices” which was held in Boston at the Harvard Medical School Martin Center. We brought together a veritable who’s who in youth sports safety prevention.
In closing, we are aware that many more people now than ever are trying to benefit on catastrophic youth sports injuries and deaths, either will selling products, services or claiming to be on “legal teams,” etc. While we do have a number of attorneys on our staff and on our boards, please also know that we have never and will never act as expert witnesses in courts on your behalf nor will we provide legal counsel for you, nor will be “feed” cases to attorneys; this is not what we do. We may sit and hold your hand in court, but our jobs are to make sure all of our MomsTEAM Institute articles are well written and researched-this is all that our legal experts do. We will continue to serve as educators and as a support and watchdog group we will try will point out groups we feel are making a profit.
Let me know how we can help.