Major League Baseball Charities and The Partnership at Drugfree.org Announce the Fifth Annual Commissioner's Play Healthy Awards

NEW YORK, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Partnership at Drugfree.org, in conjunction with Major League Baseball Charities (MLB), today announce the fifth annual Commissioner's Play Healthy Awards to celebrate extraordinary individuals on and off the playing field. The awards are an extension of both organizations' comprehensive efforts, including the new Play Healthy website, to educate families on the risks of steroids and performance-enhancing substances, and to recognize youth coaches and student athletes who embody the spirit of teamwork and healthy, drug-free competition.

One winning youth coach and one student athlete will receive prizes, including a trip for themselves and one special guest to New York City. The winning coach and athlete will also receive two tickets each to The Partnership at Drugfree.org's annual gala at Gotham Hall on November 20, 2014, where they will be honored. Additional prizes will consist of a $500 gift card to a sporting goods store, a commemorative plaque presented at the gala and the opportunity to be featured prominently on drugfree.org.

A panel of judges will determine the winners by reviewing all nominees who demonstrate their commitment to fair, drug-free play and an overall healthy lifestyle. Additionally, the judges will evaluate the nominee's commitment to leadership, sportsmanship and encouragement of others on and off the field. The applications consist of general information about the athlete or coach and a short essay.

"Major League Baseball continues to proudly support the efforts of The Partnership at Drugfree.org," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "It is imperative that everyone involved with youth sports understands the significance and benefits of fair and healthy competition, and The Partnership does a wonderful job of educating coaches, parents and young people of these important virtues, especially through initiatives like the Play Healthy Awards. We are looking forward to joining them in recognizing exceptional individuals who embrace the concept of fair play and puts these ideals into action."

"Athletes face enormous pressure to excel in competition, and despite a small number opting to make the unhealthy choice to use performance-enhancing substances, the vast majority of student athletes and youth coaches lead their teams and communities in healthy play," said Steve Pasierb, President of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. "Through our ongoing partnership with MLB, we are honored to recognize these elite individuals with the Commissioner's Play Healthy Award for their work to promote healthy living and the positive influence sports can have on a teen's life. This is an award that every parent, every coach, every family with an exemplary student athlete in their life should enter."

Steve Carter, a youth coach and Parks Foundation Director from Beltsville, Maryland and Garrett Burk, a teen athlete from Laguna Beach, California, were the recipients of the fourth annual Commissioner's Play Healthy Awards last year.

Nominations may be submitted online at drugfree.org/playhealthy from Thursday, April 3, 2014 to Friday, October 31, 2014. Nominees for the student athlete award must be between 13 and 18 years old and nominees for the youth coach award must coach teams of students who are between the ages of 13 to 18. If qualified, individuals can nominate themselves or the nomination can be made by someone other than the person being nominated. Winners of the Commissioner's Play Healthy Award will be notified on Friday, November 7, 2014, and announced on Friday, November 21, 2014. Please visit www.drugfree.org/playhealthy for additional contest rules and regulations. Use #playhealthy to follow the conversation on social media.

About The Partnership at Drugfree.org

Ninety percent of addictions start in the teenage years. The Partnership at Drugfree.org is dedicated to solving the problem of teen substance abuse. Together with experts in science, parenting and communications, the nonprofit translates research on teen behavior, addiction and treatment into useful and effective resources for both individuals and communities. Working toward a vision where all young people will be able to live their lives free of drug and alcohol abuse, The Partnership at Drugfree.org works with parents and other influencers to help them prevent and get help for drug and alcohol abuse by teens and young adults. The organization depends on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and the public sector and is thankful to SAG-AFTRA and the advertising and media industries for their ongoing generosity. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, please call The Parents Toll-Free Helpline at 1-855-DRUGFREE.

SOURCE The Partnership at Drugfree.org



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