that had a message -- would be far more effective.
Independent evaluators agreed with us. Our athletes, primarily Berryville and Green Forest soccer players, led younger kids statewide in games that instilled anti-smoking messages and taught peer-pressure resistance skills. Pre- and post-tests showed that our teens were very effective in changing attitudes.
Using teens as peer presenters, we have offered anti-drug, anti-violence, anti-smoking and anti-obesity programs featuring local kids as role models. We've found soccer to be an effective medium -- since it bridges so many cultural divides.
We have offered a variety of prevention messages using soccer during phys-ed classes, in after-school programs and during teen-led skills clinics at venues statewide -- and at annual Red Ribbon Rallies at the University of Arkansas for northwest Arkansas fifth graders. We continue to have close ties with our local youth soccer program.
Our young instructors gained leadership skills and earned small stipends that empowered them to attend soccer summer camps, play on Arkansas State Select Teams in the Olympic Development Program and compete on Arkansas Comets premier soccer teams in Fayetteville.
Our kids made instructional videos presented at anti-tobacco national conferences in New Orleans, San Francisco and Boston, at CDC meetings in Portland, Maine, and Mesa, Arizona. We showed the videos, then our youngsters demonstrated how to use soccer to teach prevention messages during sessions at National Soccer Coaches Association of America conventions in Kansas City and Providence, R.I.