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Truckee, North Tahoe Athlete Committed programs making a difference

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — Fact: 79 percent of Truckee Tahoe Unified School District athletes report that athletes use alcohol or drugs during their sports season, according to the TTUSD.

Fact: 77 percent of the school district’s athletes report that there are negative effects on team morale when athletes on their team use alcohol and drugs.

Fact: 52 percent of those same athletes report that it is difficult to find parties in the area where drugs and alcohol are not available.

Fact: Truckee and North Tahoe high schools are actively seeking to bring those facts and figures down.

The vehicle used for that mission is the schools district’s Athlete Committed program, which is designed to optimize athletic performance and health and wellness by educating coaches, athletes and parents on the impact of nutrition, sleep, character, stress and chemical health, according to TTUSD.

The national initiative was developed by John Underwood, a former NCAA All-American, international-level distance runner and coach/adviser to more than two-dozen Olympians.

“The premise of the program is to really educate, honor and uphold the athletes that step out of that norm and are being more of a leader on and off the field,” said Renee Farwig-Collins, Athlete Committed coordinator at Truckee High School. “And you got to walk the walk, because it affects everybody. One person who slacks off and drinks is going to affect the entire team — those facts are the things we’re educating the athletes about.”

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