Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Drug Free Sport Staff Writers

Monday, October 24, 2016

Drug Free Sport’s Community Investment – Showing Up Where It Matters

From our employees using their athletic careers to benefit the lives of Midwestern youth, to financially investing in certified athletic trainers to receive continuing education, you can count on Drug Free Sport’s commitment to philanthropy in 2017 and the years to come.

Here are a few ways that Drug Free Sport has shown up over the past year:


Boys & Girls Club of Greater Kansas City:
Drug Free Sport has supported youth sports development in many capacities. Philosophically, we understand that many habits and traits are learned in childhood, which can lead to helping kids make good decisions in life. Additionally, several studies have shown that youth sports help young boys and girls develop leadership skills and confidence, which can translate into positive influence in the boardroom and beyond.

Drug Free Sport’s COO, Chris Guinty, sits on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City’s Board of Directors. Drug Free Sport has also sponsored a summer league T-ball team, tying into Major League Baseball’s RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) initiative. Dane Jensen, Assistant Director of Collector Training and Development, served as a coach for the kids (pictured above).

Drug Free Sport Continuing Education Awards:
High school and collegiate certified athletic trainers are on the front lines of combating drug abuse and affirming proper drug/supplement education. We aim to validate and encourage their work by offering multiple $1,000 continuing education awards to qualified athletic trainers. In June, we provided two collegiate and one high school certified athletic trainers with these awards. A group of certified athletic trainers, a former award winner, Drug Free Sport staff members and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation came together to review the impressive body of candidates. This year’s award applications will begin in late December, with selected applicants announced in Spring 2017. 

"Shortly after graduating with my master's degree, I became a Division II head athletic trainer at a university that had been competing in intercollegiate athletics for nearly one hundred years, and had never administered an institutionalized drug test. It became apparent to us that Drug Free Sport could help us not only administer proper drug testing, but would also help our university with the most important aspect, education for our student-athletes. The Drug Free Sport Continuing Education Award has helped our university become more diverse in how we can educate our student-athletes and how we can close the gap on preventing drug use in collegiate athletics. Drug testing is just one small piece of the puzzle that any company can help provide. But, the educational tools that Drug Free Sport provides our university stand above the rest and have gone a long way in how we educate and prevent drug use in our student-athletes. We are proud to partner with Drug Free Sport and are proud of the work that their entire team does to help impact our student-athletes." – Heath Duncan, 2016 Drug Free Sport Continuing Education Award Winner; Head Athletic Trainer, Alderson Broaddus University (pictured above)

Careers in Sports Panel:
Our team members will often help those aspiring to careers in sport business by speaking on their life experiences at local events . A unique opportunity was presented in September, when we were asked to speak on a panel with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith via the Team WallStreet organization.  The panel on careers in sports was a charity fundraiser for Kansas City-area youth. Vice President of Professional Sports Drug Testing, J.D. Matheus, addressed the crowd on his experiences as a student-athlete and matriculation into professional sports.

Westside (KC) Back-To-School Backpack/School Supplies Event:
Drug Free Sport headquarters lie on Kansas City’s Westside, a historic area rich in culture and development. Within the neighborhood, there is a frequent need for proper school supplies for children. Drug Free Sport continued its support of its neighborhood by donating to buy more than 30 padlocks for student lockers. Additionally, the team showed up to distribute backpacks and school supplies to kids of all school ages alongside members of the Kansas City, MO Police Department. “Working at the Westside Back-to-School event in the backpack room was very rewarding,” said Michael McCabe, Sport Drug Testing Program Manager. “The moments that brought the most joy were the looks of excitement on each kid’s face, knowing the work that we were doing would make it a little bit easier to head back to school.”

In all of our involvements, we often get as much (if not more) out of the experiences than the communities that we serve.

- Gene Willis, Director of Marketing

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