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Published: Saturday, 8/13/2011

Head games

Dick's Sporting Goods aims to score big against head injuries among young athletes by providing free concussion screenings for as many as 1 million middle and high school students.

The company seeks to raise awareness of the dangers associated with concussions, and to produce baseline results for athletes before they are injured. The data are helpful in diagnosing and treating serious head traumas sustained by hundreds of thousands of athletes each year.

The aim is to ensure players don't return to competition before their brains are sufficiently healed. Dick's is teaming up with the testing program ImPACT which administers a 20-minute screening used by most professional and college sports teams but not many high schools.

Dick's hopes to change that by offering a free 12-month subscription to ImPACT to the first 3,335 schools that apply. The company's customers will fund the project. Dick's also will conduct clinics.

These efforts can protect today's student athletes and tomorrow's pros.

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