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More information about our 2023 Heart of a Champion Day is coming soon.

Heart of a Champion Day is an an annual 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

Heart of a Champion Day Frequently Asked Questions

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.
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.
No. Schools will have designated screening times, which will be released to the school's athletic director.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, to the best of this screening programs ability to detect heart abnormalities. No screening test is perfect.
It may indicate the presence of a serious condition that may require further follow-up testing and treatment by a physician.
Your child's physician will determine the need for further testing and treatment.
Heart of a Champion Day assists families with finding a primary care physician and/or specialist for any follow-up testing.
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.
Possibly. There is a chance of false positive findings; however, Heart of a Champion Day will assist in follow-up information.
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.
At this time, we may only screen participants who allow information to be shared with a child's designated school.
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.