November 10, 2010
U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) Athlete Ambassador, and two-time Paralympic wheelchair curling athlete, Augusto Perez, was on hand today at Mount Anthony Middle School in Bennington, Vermont, to give a presentation to students about the importance of avoiding the pressures associated with performance-enhancing drugs in sport.
Perez, who participates in the USADA Athlete Ambassador program, is an outspoken advocate for clean competition and combating the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sport. In addition to speaking about drug use in sport, Perez talked to students about health and nutrition, the importance of good decision making, the effects of choices, being honorable, accepting challenges, and acting with integrity and honesty.
“Kids gain the most from these critical messages about the value of integrity in sport when they hear them directly from their sports heroes,” said USADA Outreach Director Erin Hannan. “Sport has such a significant place in the fabric of our society, and the lessons kids learn through participating in sport and emulating their favorite sport figures can influence them significantly. We want to ensure that influence is constructive and positive.”
Mount Anthony Middle school received the honor as a result of teacher, Brian Keller, who earned a gold medal in the first year of the USADA True Sport Awards competition for his work in implementing USADA’s curricula into the school’s family and consumer science elective. Keller described the goal of his program as helping students “learn the importance of decision-making when researching dietary supplements as well as learning how to properly train and gain fitness naturally.”
USADA’s True Sport Awards program was created to encourage educators, coaches, and community leaders to integrate either the 100% Me (middle school) or That’s Dope (high school) curricula into enriched classroom and/or other instructional activities. Outstanding individuals are recognized with program funding and other valuable support. USADA’s curricula teach the good values that sport can instill – honesty, respect, and sportsmanship, while focusing on healthy body image, good nutrition, navigating the complexities of dietary supplements, and avoiding the pressures associated with performance-enhancing drugs.
USADA is the non-profit, independent entity responsible for the testing and results management process in the U.S. for athletes in the Olympic and Paralympic Movement, upholding the Olympic ideal of fair play, and representing the interests of athletes. USADA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs. The agency manages a drug reference phone hotline as well as the Global Drug Reference Online at www.GlobalDRO.org, conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as curriculums, themed brochures and nutrition and dietary guides, easy-reference wallet cards for the prohibited substance list, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference publications, all of which can be found at www.USADA.org.