Shipley Receives Prestigious Safe Sports School Award

Shipley is proud to announce its Athletics department is the recipient of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Safe Sports School award for its ongoing preventative injury work to keep students safe while playing sports and participating in physical education classes. The award, which champions safety, recognizes secondary schools that have met the recommended standards to improve safety in sports and reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention, and treatment for students.

In order to achieve Safe Sports School status, Shipley’s athletic program had to meet the following requirements:
  • Create a positive athletic health care administrative system
  • Provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations
  • Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities
  • Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment
  • Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes
  • Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions
  • Provide or facilitate injury intervention
  • Create and rehearse a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan
  • Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education
  • Ensure athletes and parents are educated about the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities
“I am proud of Shipley and our Athletics Department for being recognized by the NATA for our ongoing preventive injury work led by athletic trainers Kim Whelan and Kayleigh Jenkins,” said Mark Duncan, Director of Athletics at The Shipley School. “For years Shipley Athletics has gone above and beyond to do what is best for our student-athletes. Through partnerships with the Concussion Legacy Foundation in Boston and locally with a great team of doctors and researchers from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Shipley student-athletes are given the best sideline and pre- and post-game care of any high school and small college. Congratulations to our athletic trainers and coaching and support staff for all of their hard work.”

For years, Shipley has remained steadfast in its commitment to protecting the developing brains of students through a concussion prevention program. In an effort to reduce the number of concussions and minimize the cumulative effects of forces to the head, Shipley took a decisive stand on the use of “headers” in soccer. In partnership with the Concussion Legacy Foundation, Shipley banned heading in all Middle School soccer games. Shipley has also piloted sensor device use for contact sport athletes in the Upper School (grades 9-12) to monitor head impact and signs of concussion.

Through a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the State of Pennsylvania, Shipley student-athletes have also been the subjects of an ongoing concussion study conducted by the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. For the past few athletic seasons, CHOP has been studying Shipley student-athletes to determine objective ways to diagnose and measure concussions and prevent long-term effects at a research lab set-up in Shipley Athletic Director Mark Duncan's office. The results of the study will help determine when a student-athlete who has sustained a head injury is healthy enough for play or should remain on the sidelines.

“The health and safety of student-athletes are critical as it has both immediate and long-term effects,” said NATA President Tory Lindley, MA, ATC. “NATA created the ‘Safe Sports School Award’ to recognize and champion schools nationwide that are committed to enhancing safety in sports. We are proud to see the list of award recipients grow exponentially each year as schools see the immense value in holding themselves to best practices and policies that ensure a high standard of athlete care.”

To apply, schools complete an in-depth questionnaire that assesses adherence to best practice standards and recommendations. For more information about the Safe Sports School Award, please visit

Learn more about Shipley’s athletic department and its Concussion Prevention Programs.


The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.