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Coalition Aims To Make Extreme Sports Safer

Go Bigger Coalition

Tahoe area psychologist Robb Gaffney is worried about the focus on taking big jumps -- and big risks -- in today's action sports community. "We just keep seeing people get injured and die, in a way that we just didn't 40 years ago."

That's particularly true of teens, according to Gaffney. In response, he's brought together a group of athletes, ski coaches, and concerned local parents to form the Go Bigger Coalition. :  The goal is to teach parents how to talk to their kids about risk-taking, the social pressure that leads to it, and how to be safe without missing out on fun.

"We don't want our kids to die doing the sports we do, and we also want them to enjoy it rather than fear whether they're gonna make it back to their car at the end of the day. "

Gaffney says a lot of local kids want that help, too. "They don't want to injure themselves but they'll go for something anyway because the group pressure is so strong. And so I think a lot of kids are looking for a life preserver, because they can see the risk that's out there and yet they're caught up in this culture."

The coalition will be hosting panel discussions throughout this year to get more parents, kids, and community members re-thinking their approach to action sports.

For more information or to get in touch with the Go Bigger Coalition, visit sportgevity.com.

Amy Westervelt is a former contributor at KUNR Public Radio.
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