Sports and Outdoors

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Indiana High School Athletic Association teams with Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation to prepare youth speakers for anti-tobacco speeches

INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 13, 2010) - In 2009, Hoosiers earned the unhappy
title as the state with the second highest rate of adult smokers, coming
in at more than 26 percent. But one Wells County student-athlete is
working to change this sad statistic for his, and future, generations.

Klay Fiechter, a senior football player at Norwell High School, joined
other top student-athletes from around the state as a participant in the
Youth Speakers' Bureau Program, developed by the IHSAA and Indiana
Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (ITPC). With the help of Indiana Teen
Institute Program Director and Lead Facilitator, Mark Kaser, the program
provides participants with the insights necessary to deliver confident,
well-constructed speeches on the importance of remaining tobacco free.

The 40 participants in this year's program were chosen from more than 90
student-athletes who are part of this year's IHSAA Role Model Program.
Now in its seventh year, the Role Model Program draws on the credibility
that high school student-athletes with recognizable names and faces have
in their communities. Student-athletes who achieve high grades, enjoy
athletic success and display superior citizenship are encouraged to
embrace their role model status and help to positively influence their
peers and young fans.

Students who signed a pledge agreeing to be tobacco, drug and alcohol
free and serve as positive role models for the community furthered their
dedication to the Role Model Program by attending one of two all-day
training sessions.

After attending the training session, Fiechter honed his anti-tobacco
speech, which he will present to groups throughout his community.

"High school sports have always been about more than just winning and
losing a game," said IHSAA Commissioner Blake Ress. "They teach
dedication, strength of character and leadership - skills that Klay is
selflessly putting to use to benefit his school and community."

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