WESTERLY — The Westerly Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force is distributing first aid kits to local youth sports teams. The kits include a prevention guide for coaches.
The kits were made available through a grant from the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals to the South County Prevention Coalition, which includes Westerly, Charlestown, Hopkinton, Richmond, New Shoreham, Narragansett, South Kingstown, and North Kingstown. A portion of $132,000 in leftover Partnership for Success Grant funds from fiscal year 2017 was allotted to the South County Prevention Coalition to purchase the kits.
The guides are intended to recognize coaches as “key players in proactive community drug prevention efforts. The sports field offers a place to develop both as an athlete and individual, and lessons learned on that field will be carried throughout life. Like parents, coaches can be hugely influential in helping kids learn about themselves, build relationships with others and overcome obstacles,” said Sarah Hall, coordinator of the Westerly task force, in a news release.
She went on to say: “We’d like to thank the coaches, recreational directors and other volunteers who help provide youth sporting opportunities. They give up countless hours of valuable time to help children learn valuable lessons both on and off the field. Not only are they developing future potential Olympians, they help create healthy and safe opportunities for youth to learn to grow into healthy and drug-free adults. And, that is a true victory for all of our communities.”
The coalition represents parents, youth, law enforcement, schools, health care, businesses, government officials and community leaders joined together to address the region’s substance-use challenges.
Coaches who would like a kit can contact Hall at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dale P. Faulkner