GATORADE TO LAUNCH EDUCATIONAL CAMPAIGN WITH HELP OF NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE TO INFORM YOUTH FOOTBALL PLAYERS ABOUT HEAT-RELATED ILLNESSES DURING TWO-A-DAY PRACTICES
As teams around the National Football League and from schools across the country conduct two-a-day preseason practices, The Gatorade Company will join forces with the NFL and Green Bay Packers to launch a nationwide campaign aimed at educating parents and football coaches about the importance of hydration in order to keep athletes on the field during the annual summer sessions.
As part of this effort, Gatorade will oversee a league-wide "Two-A-Day Safety Donation Day" initiative with NFL teams during training camps to raise money to further the awareness and educational efforts of the Kendrick Fincher Memorial Foundation (KFMF), which was founded by Mike and Rhonda Fincher in memory of their son, Kendrick, who succumbed to complications from heat stroke during the summer of 1995.
At Packers training camp, "Two-A-Day Safety Donation Day" will take place Thursday, Aug. 3. A kiosk will be set up in the Lambeau Field parking lot near Oneida Street from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and Gatorade squeeze bottles will be given to the first 500 fans who donate to the cause.
"When we created the Foundation, our primary goal was to make sure no parent would ever have to experience what we experienced with Kendrick, especially when heat-related illnesses are 100% preventable," said Rhonda Fincher. "It's so important for parents and coaches to pay extra attention to proper hydration awareness and cool down techniques to help ensure players stay safe on the field during hot summer practices. Gatorade and the NFL will be helping us get this message out to a much greater audience."
The partnership between Gatorade and the NFL is built on communicating heat-illness prevention and treatment techniques, including the key tools all teams need to defend against heat illness: education, preparation, proper hydration and a "cool pool" on the sidelines for cold water immersion to treat heatstroke.
"Heat-related illnesses need to be taken seriously at all levels," said Pepper Burruss, head athletic trainer for the Green Bay Packers. "Dangers caused by overexposure to high temperature and humidity are preventable if coaches and players know the early warning signs and stay cool and hydrated. Simple steps like allowing for acclimatization, adjusting the intensity of practice to environmental conditions and access to correctly proportioned sports drinks can make all the difference."
Research conducted by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute found that approximately 70% of high school football players show up to practices significantly dehydrated, placing them at great risk for heat illness and injuries. Further research indicated that a simple hydration strategy could dramatically reduce this incidence of pre-practice dehydration and lower the risk for heat illness.
"Working with the National Football League and the Kendrick Fincher Memorial Foundation to boost awareness about hydration speaks to the origins of Gatorade, which was created to help football players stay hydrated and safe, and able to perform at their best on the field," said Tom Fox, senior vice president of sports marketing for Gatorade. "Through this partnership, we hope to educate as many parents, coaches and players as possible, to reduce the number of preventable heat-related injuries this summer.
In addition to the "Two-A-Day Safety Donation Day" initiative, the partnership will support and help boost awareness this summer about KFMF efforts to provide educational pamphlets to parents, coaches and players as well as to provide squeeze bottles to players across the country. For more information on the partnership and heat illness prevention and treatment, please visit www.nfl.com , www.kendrickfincher.org and www.gatorade.com.
Gatorade(r) Thirst Quencher, the nation's leading sports drink, is backed by 40 years of research. Gatorade is scientifically formulated and athletically proven to quench thirst, replace fluids and electrolytes and provide carbohydrate energy to enhance athletic performance. Gatorade is the official sports drink of the NFL, NBA, WNBA, AVP, NHL, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and numerous professional, collegiate and amateur teams and events throughout the world. For more information, please visit www.gatorade.com.