By: Danielle Kalberer SUNY 2014
From July 29-31, 2011 I was part of a group of 40 optometrists and students of optometry representing the American Optometric Association Sports Vision Section who performed free vision evaluations for athletes competing in the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympics in New Orleans, LA.
The goal of the evaluations was to ensure that problems in the visual system do not limit athletic performance of the young athletes competing. Our team investigated the following areas: visual acuity, ocular dominance, color vision, hand-eye coordination, binocular vision, tracking, speed of recognition and balance. Over three days we were able to provide evaluations to several hundreds of the 12,000 young athletes. Being that vision is so critical to athletic performance, the evaluations were greatly appreciated by the athletes, parents and coaches alike.
Members of the AOA Sports Vision Section have provided sports vision evaluations at the AAU Junior Olympics since 1994. The 2012 Junior Olympics are to take place in Houston, Texas. I had a great learning experience and a lot of fun helping these young athletes and would definitely recommend other optometry students to take advantage of this opportunity. For further information on the AOA Sports Vision Section and volunteering at the 2012 Junior Olympics, visit www.aoa.org, call 800/365-2219, ext. 4136, or e-mail mailto:email@example.com. The evaluation program was sponsored by Vistakon®, Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.