Vernon Hills, Illinois, - Soccer players across the country will be safer thanks to a national public awareness initiative focusing on safe soccer goals called Anchored for Safety.
The family of Zachary Tran, a six-year-old who was killed when an unanchored goal fell on him, created the initiative to prevent tragedies like Zachary's from happening again. "If only we had known the dangers of unsafe goals, we would have been vigilant in keeping our kids away from them. We didn't know," stated Michelle Tran, Zachary's mother and initiative co-founder.
The potential for accidents from unsafe soccer goals is substantial. The U.S. Youth Soccer Program estimates that 3.2 million children play soccer each year. From 1979 to 2008, there have been 34 deaths and 51 injuries from soccer goals that have tipped over. Hundreds more have been injured. Anchored for Safety believes that with public education, these injuries and fatalities are preventable.
"The short-term solution is to make sure all goals are properly anchored. However, Anchored for Safety is working on a more permanent solution; to promote the use of goals that are safe, anchored or unanchored," said Jayson Tran, Zachary's father and initiative co-founder.
Taylor Twellman, starting forward for the New England Revolution and three-time Major League Soccer All-Star, will serve as Anchored for Safety's spokesperson. "Soccer is a great sport. I can't wait to help AFS reach people to help them understand that soccer goal safety is a serious issue," stated Twellman.
Anchored for Safety's website, provides tools to empower individuals and groups involved with the game of soccer to make goals safe in their area. The site includes recommendations for safe handling, repositioning and storage of soccer goals.
Members of Anchored for Safety also educate audiences about how to make soccer goals safe by speaking to groups such as park and recreation directors, schools and soccer associations.
For more information on Anchored for Safety please visit anchoredforsafety.org.
Anchored for Safety is dedicated to educating soccer parents, players, coaches, referees, associations, parks and recreation departments, and the general public concerning the dangers of unsafe soccer goals. Committed to the belief that injuries and fatalities from unsafe soccer goals are preventable, Anchored for Safety exists to increase awareness among these groups and others, providing support and recommendations for the safe design, handling, repositioning and storage of soccer goals. Anchored for Safety is an initiative of the Zachary Tran Memorial Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization.
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