Mask and Visitor Policies: Following CDC and state of NC guidance, masks are still required in all Atrium Health facilities. View our current visitor policy

 Due to ongoing concerns about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), we've decided to cancel this year's Heart of a Champion Day events.

 We know this is a disappointment, but the health and safety of our student-athletes, volunteers and communities is our top priority. And we all
 need to do whatever we can to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding during this challenging time. We'll reach out to
 those involved when we have further updates. If you need non-emergency care in the meantime, please contact your primary care doctor's office
 or start one of our virtual care options.

Heart of a Champion Day is a free sports-specific health screening and educational program for high school student athletes. The screenings include a review of the athlete's medical history, a sports-specific medical and musculoskeletal exam, a heart exam and a vision test. The program is unique because of the heart screening, where all student athletes receive an electrocardiogram (EKG), which traces the heart's electrical activity. A heart screening is performed to increase the chance of detecting a heart problem that could affect an athlete's ability to participate in sports safely.

Traditional sports screenings may not detect these heart abnormalities. However, no screening program is designed to detect every abnormal condition. It is also important to note that this program is not intended to replace an athlete's yearly well child exam.

The educational program provides information and intervention early when habits of healthy living can be set or modified and when young student-athletes are motivated to respond.

Heart of a Champion Day aims to:

  • Identify high-risk disorders in student athletes
  • Educate student athletes and their parents about injury prevention
  • Provide at-risk student athletes with a treatment plan
  • Ensure that previous injuries have been treated properly
  • Discuss referral options recommended for further evaluation and provide resources to establish a primary care physician

Each student athlete receives a free:

  • Review of medical history
  • General sports screening for North and South Carolina
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Echocardiogram (ECHO) if needed
  • Orthopedic screening (musculoskeletal exam)
  • Vision exam
  • Access to a registered dietician

Heart of a Champion Day: A Personal Story

Heart of a Champion Day statistics showing the number of student athletes screened and medical issues found are impressive. But it’s the personal stories, of students who were able to continue their athletic careers after being treated for a condition discovered during the screenings, that are most poignant. Independence High football player Jaylen Riley and his mother, Nicole, tell the story of his Heart of a Champion Day experience in 2014.

Contact the Heart of a Champion Day Team

For additional information call us at 704-667-2570 or email us.

Heart of a Champion Day Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a physical or well-child check?

Heart of a Champion Day includes a sport-specific screening that exceeds the North Carolina High School Athletic Association and/or South Carolina High School League regulations for sports participation. Heart of a Champion Day screenings are not a physical and do not take the place of an annual well-child check or physical.

Why is this being offered at the end of the school year, instead of the beginning?

Heart of a Champion Day is designed to provide time for a student-athlete to receive any needed medical follow-ups before summer workouts begin.

Can my son/daughter attend at any time during the day?

No. Schools will have designated screening times, which will be released to the school's athletic director.

What if I cannot drive my child to the screening site?

Heart of a Champion Day works with identified high schools to provide bus transportation from each high school to the event and back to the home school. Students must ride the bus; students in personal vehicles will not be allowed to participate (with the exception of the Union County event).

What should students wear and do?

Students should wear a T-shirt and shorts to the screenings. Females should not wear a sports bra. Wear contacts or bring glasses. Skin on chest should be clean and dry of lotions, creams, oils or powders. Please do not perform physical activity one to two hours before the screening.

What is an EKG?

An EKG, or electrocardiogram, is a completely painless, non-invasive test that evaluates the health of your heart. It measures heart rate and electrical activity and only takes about three minutes.

What is an ECHO?

An ECHO, or echocardiogram, is a completely painless, non-invasive ultrasound to look at the structure of the heart. It can be helpful in clarifying abnormalities seen on EKG, history or physical exam.

Will a diagnosis be made based on my child's screening EKG and ECHO?

Yes. Cardiologists read the results of the screening in real time. If your child needs additional follow-up, you may request a copy of the results and they can be sent to your physician.

If my child's EKG and ECHO are normal, does this mean they have a healthy heart?

Yes, to the best of this screening programs ability to detect heart abnormalities. No screening test is perfect.

What does it mean if my child's screening indicates that further evaluation is needed?

It may indicate the presence of a serious condition that may require further follow-up testing and treatment by a physician.

Will additional testing be needed?

Your child's physician will determine the need for further testing and treatment.

What if I do not have a physician?

Heart of a Champion Day assists families with finding a primary care physician and/or specialist for any follow-up testing.

How soon should I have my child see a physician?

If your child's results show further evaluation is needed, you should have your child examined by your family physician within two weeks of being notified of the results of the screening; however they should not participate in physical activity until evaluated.

If my child's screening indicates the need for follow-up evaluation and testing with a physician, does that mean he/she has a life-threatening condition?

Possibly. There is a chance of false positive findings; however, Heart of a Champion Day will assist in follow-up information.

Who are my child's results shared with?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects your child's health information. Your child's health information is only shared with you and officials at their school, to assure they have received the annual required sports screening.

What if I choose not to allow my child's information to be shared with a school?

At this time, we may only screen participants who allow information to be shared with a child's designated school.

When and how will I receive the results of the screening?

All results are sent directly back to your son/daughter's designated school. If there is any need for follow-up, you will be contacted by Heart of a Champion Day.