The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation, ImPACT Applications and pro football star Drew Brees team up to bench concussions in youth sports

Concussions continue to affect all levels of athletics in the U.S., with an estimated 3.8 million recreation and sports-related concussions occurring in professional, collegiate and youth sports each year.(1) According to the American College of Sports Medicine, approximately 85% of those concussions go undiagnosed.(2) The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation today announced that it has partnered with world champion All-Pro quarterback Drew Brees and ImPACT for PACE, the groundbreaking concussion awareness and education program.

PACE, which stands for Protecting Athletes through Concussion Education, aims to inform young athletes about the dangers of concussions in sports and provides free baseline neurocognitive testing for schools and youth athletic programs nationwide. Parents, coaches and school officials can visit to sign up eligible middle, high school and youth athletic organizations to receive free ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) testing software licenses, which provide baseline tests for up to 300 young athletes free of charge for one year ($500 value).

Utilized by more than three million athletes at thousands of middle and high schools, collegiate and professional sports teams, ImPACT is the first, most-widely used, scientifically-validated computerized neurocognitive evaluation system available. ImPACT begins with a 20-minute baseline test that is administered pre-season. If a concussion is suspected later, another post-injury test is administered by trained clinicians to assess the possible after-effects. The program evaluates multiple aspects of brain function including memory, processing speed, reaction time and post-concussive symptoms, assisting doctors in making return-to-play decisions and potentially reducing the possibility of long-term neurological effects.

“The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation has a unique opportunity through PACE to empower parents, coaches and young athletes with the right tools to make sure they’re informed and taking the necessary precautions to manage concussions,” said Edward W. Stack, Chairman and CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods DKS +1.61% . “Together with Drew Brees and our partners at ImPACT, our goal is to provide awareness and information so that every athlete, every team and every school can be smart about concussions.”

Record-breaking pro football star Drew Brees, who suffered a concussion in 2005, will serve as the national spokesperson for PACE in 2012, participating in various marketing initiatives to support the program including online video, public relations, and social media engagement. “As an athlete who has taken the ImPACT baseline as well as the post-injury test following a concussion, I can say firsthand how valuable the results can be in helping to properly determine a safe return to play,” said Brees. “Through The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation PACE Program, we can help educate kids, parents and coaches on some simple, but impactful ways to identify and manage concussions – including getting a baseline test – so young athletes can be smarter and safer on the field, on the court and on the ice.”

To help bring even greater awareness to the topic of “Concussions in Youth Sports” and the benefits of baseline testing for young athletes, The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation will host a panel discussion tomorrow at the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) Auditorium in New York. Moderated by pro football insider Adam Schefter, the panel will feature Drew Brees, neuropsychologist, CEO and Co-Founder of ImPACT, Dr. Mark Lovell, gold medal-winning women’s soccer goalkeeper Briana Scurry, two-time world champion football star Carl Banks and hockey world champion and Hall of Famer Mike Richter. “The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation PACE program represents the largest baseline neurocognitive testing initiative ever and ImPACT is proud to be associated with this program,” said Dr. Mark Lovell, CEO and Co-Founder of ImPACT. “The PACE program will create a safer environment for youth athletes and represents an exciting opportunity to better educate athletes, their parents and all other participants in youth sports.”

For more information on The Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation PACE Program, including how to sign up your school or athletic program to receive free ImPACT software or how to receive a free PACE green wristband at participating Dick’s Sporting Goods stores, please visit .

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