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INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 9, 2010) – As another high school winter sports season begins in Adams County, a new student-athlete is initiated into an elite group honored by the Indiana High School Athletic Association as an IHSAA Role Model. Picking up where those before her left off, one Adams County high school student will take the lead as an anti-tobacco advocate in her school and community during the IHSAA Role Model Program’s eighth consecutive year.
Participants of the 2010-2011 Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) Role Model Program appear larger than life on posters, sports schedules, trading cards and other materials as symbols of healthy, active individuals. And while the honor to do so recognizes students who boast high grades, athletic achievement, and a good record of citizenship, carrying the torch as an anti-tobacco role model isn’t always easy, even for all-stars.
“Participants are asked to conduct themselves as role models among their teams, classmates and community members at all times, which can be a great amount of pressure,” said IHSAA Commissioner Blake Ress. “Much is asked of these student-athletes in the name of changing habits and positively influencing lives.”
Zan Smith, a senior swimmer from Adams Central High School, has been selected to represent her school during the 2010-2011 winter sport season. Smith is sponsored by the Substance Abuse Awareness Council of Adams County. In total, 62 students from 50 Indiana high schools are participating as IHSAA Role Model during the 2010-2011 school year.
Smith was nominated to represent her high school by administrators at her school. She also signed a pledge agreeing to be tobacco, drug and alcohol free and serve as positive role model for her community.
"Choosing to be drug and alcohol free not only means doing what’s best for my health, but it’s also a choice that enables me to give 100% in my sport,” said Smith. “There is a young girl somewhere in the stands who wants to be an athlete like me. I must ask myself if my decisions affect her positively, which pushes me to make responsible decisions because they affect us both."