Deacon Starts Program for the Prevention of Disabilities in Youth Sports

Deacon Don Grossnickle,
Vicariate One Director of Outreach
Persons with Disability, Archdiocese of Chicago

Deacon expands ministry to support
the prevention of disabilities in youth sports.

In 1999 Deacon Don Grossnickle of the Archdiocese of Chicago was prompted to help a young high school football player who was paralyzed after a spinal cord and brain injury. His parish-based diaconal ministry was expanded as he was assigned to vicariate-based leadership exploring ways to better outreach and connect Church and persons with disabilities.

Deacon Don top row left 2nd person and his “Community Alliance for Sport Safety” Board of Directors
This ministry for the vicariate expanded to focus attention in Illinois and nation on disability and student athlete injury prevention and sport safety. He helped found the Community Alliance for Sport Safety which is a nonprofit. The organization pursues the dual mission of helping paralyzed student athletes and family members embrace the brokenness that comes associated with catastrophic injury via a mentoring outreach program, and promote injury prevention.
Now Deacon Grossnickle is organizing on-line Internet-based educational seminars that promote the learning and sharing of ideas that can reduce or eliminate athletic injuries for student athletes. Grossnickle helped pass: “Rocky’s Law” which is an Illinois requirement now that forces schools to provide insurance for high school athletes.
Grossnickle now seeks the help of all those concerned with disability to help him design and implement the on-line webinars that can reach student athletes, parents, coaches, and certified athletic trainers. This is a brand new mission and holds great promise. See the Community Alliance for Sport Safety web site for more information. Deacon Don encourages all to visit the web site and join in the mission to support injured athletes and families and help prevent disabilities right from the start.



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