What is Advocates for Injured Athletes (A4IA)?

Advocates for Injured Athletes is a 501(c)(3), non profit organization located in San Diego, California. A4IA was started in 2010 by Beth and Tommy Mallon in response to a near fatal catastrophic head and neck injury suffered by Tommy during his final high school lacrosse game.

What are the goals of A4IA?

To raise awareness about the profession of athletic training and to help reduce the number of student athlete fatalities.

What is the strategy of A4IA?

We want to see a certified athletic trainer on every high school campus in America. We realize the first step is to raise awareness about the profession, and to educate families to understand what an important role they play in helping to keep athletes safe. We have taken a powerful approach to raising that awareness by creating a sports safety education program that is taught exclusively by Athletic Trainers. The program helps to educate student athletes about possible signs and symptoms of sports related injuries and how to be more aware of their own health and the health of their teammates.

What is the A4IA mission?

The mission of A4IA is to promote sports safety and to provide essential support, education and resources to help keep student athletes safe. A4IA is also working to raise awareness and educate the public about the important role athletic trainers play in keeping athletes safe.

What is Athletes Saving Athletes™ (ASA)?

Athletes Saving Athletes™ is the signature educational program of A4IA. :The program teaches student athletes recognition and understanding of possible signs and symptoms of sports related injuries and chronic medical conditions. The curriculum includes compelling video stories of three high school students who are the founding ASA Ambassadors: Tommy Mallon, a lacrosse player who received a catastrophic head and neck injury; nationally ranked tennis player Brittan Sutphin who suffered sudden cardiac arrest while swimming; and Will James , a football player who nearly died due to exertional heat stroke. All three athletes are alive today to share their stories.

What topics are covered by the ASA program?

The curriculum, which was developed by a team of medical experts from across the country covers concussion, head and neck injuries, heat illness, sudden cardiac arrest, diabetes and asthma, and stresses the importance of notifying a certified athletic trainer, coach or other supervising adult immediately when a teammate is in trouble. In addition to learning to recognize signs and symptoms, program participants learn CPR and are introduced to the purpose and function of the AED ( Automated External Defibrillator).

Who teaches ASA?

ASA is taught exclusively by certified athletic trainers. A4IA believes that athletic trainers are uniquely qualified to teach the program giving their education and professional training in preventing, recognizing and managing all of the catastrophic conditions covered as part of the program. Two of the three founding program athletes, Tommy Mallon and Will James are alive today in part because of the athletic trainer who was on the sidelines the day they were injured. A4IA believes all program participants should have the opportunity to connect with athletic trainers through this program. If you’d like to learn more about the profession of athletic training check out the “athletic trainer section” of our website.

Is the ASA program strictly a lecture?

The ASA program is intended to be an interactive program that incorporates lecture with video presentations and regular participation from students through questions and interactive segments. Our goal is to keep students engaged from beginning to end by using a variety of presentation modes. Athletes learn the skill of CPR compressions.

How long is a typical ASA program?

A typical ASA program is conducted during an academic school day and lasts approximately 3 hours. We have found that this amount of time is enough to cover the required topics and maintain attention and interest from the students. The ASA program can be scheduled on a weekend depending on the needs of the school or club sport.

How many students are in a typical ASA program?

Student athletes are nominated to attend the program by their school administration and their coaches. We encourage each school to choose 2-3 leadership athletes per campus sport. A typical class size varies between 50-100 students.

Can you schedule an ASA class for an entire team?

Yes, please contact us to discuss your specific request.

How do I bring ASA to my school or group?

The first step is to contact A4IA via the information available under the “Contact Us” tab. A4IA will then send you the necessary steps to get the ball rolling. A4IA has done most of its programing in the San Diego/Southern California area, but don’t be discouraged if you’re from another state. A4IA has recently been expanding to other cities around the US. Please contact us to find out if we will be coming to a city near you!

Can ASA be presented to others such as coaches or parents?

Yes. The original intent of the program was to focus on presenting to athletes, but due to the popularity of the program in San Diego recent programming has been tailored to coaches and parents specifically. These programs are done on a “by request” basis so if you’re looking to bring the ASA program to a group of parents or coaches please contact A4IA with the details of the needs of your specific group.