The NFL Foundation, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), Gatorade and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS) today announced the winners of the Athletic Trainer Initiative, a national grant contest to expand access to athletic trainers in underserved high schools and improve youth athlete safety. The fifteen winning schools each received $50,000 to develop athletic training programs that will provide nearly 5,000 student athletes with consistent access to this valuable resource. The announcement was made at the seventh-annual Youth Sports Safety Summit, hosted by NATA and the Youth Sports Safety Alliance.
The winners of the national grant contest are (more details included below):
- Alden-Conger Public School (Alden, MN)
- Attica Central School (Attica, NY)
- California Lutheran High School (Wildomar, CA)
- Canyon Ridge High School (Twin Falls, ID)
- Carlisle High School (Henderson, TX)
- John Muir High School (Pasadena, CA)
- Lutheran High School (Chula Vista, CA)
- Marist High School (Bayonne, NJ)
- Mount St. Michael Academy (Bronx, NY)
- Orrick R-XI High School (Orrick, MO)
- Pleasant Valley High School (Chico, CA)
- St. Anthony Village High School (Minneapolis, MN)
- St. Thomas More High School (Rapid City, SD)
- Walpole High School (Walpole, MA)
- William V. Fisher Catholic High School (Lancaster, OH)
Ten additional high schools will receive an athletic safety presentation given by a local athletic trainer and a safety kit, which includes a Hydration Starter Kit from Gatorade and educational materials.
“This effort addresses a critical need and provides the means for these high schools to establish athletic training programs that will enhance the health and safety of their student athletes,” said JEFF MILLER, NFL executive vice president of health and safety policy. “This is an area of priority for us, and we will continue to work with our partners to expand access to athletic trainers in more schools across the country.”
Athletic trainers play a vital role in the health and safety of athletes. A recent study from the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that the presence of athletic trainers resulted in lower overall injury rates, improved diagnosis and return-to-play decisions for concussion and other injuries, and fewer recurrent injuries for student athletes. However, nearly two-thirds of high schools lack a full-time athletic trainer and almost thirty-percent do not have access to any athletic training services. This grant contest helps to tackle this need by providing schools with the necessary funding, educational resources, and programmatic support to put athletic trainers on the sidelines and better protect their athletes.
“A top priority of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association is the health and safety of the high school athlete,” said NATA President SCOTT SAILOR, EdD, ATC. “Through our partnership with the NFL, Gatorade and Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society, more students will be protected with the best possible safety measures in place.”
The grant contest, which launched in October, is an extension of the partners’ athletic training outreach program. The partners have committed more than $3 million to help fund athletic trainers in communities nationwide. To date, the outreach program has impacted an estimated 160,000 student athletes across more than 670 schools.
“We understand the importance of secondary school athletic trainers and believe partnerships like this one are key to ensuring youth athlete safety,” said JEFF KEARNEY, head of Gatorade Sports Marketing. “This program has brought us one step closer to the ultimate goal of having a full-time athletic trainer in every high school in the country, and we are proud to have worked with the NFL, NATA and PFATS on this important initiative.”
“The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society is pleased to be a part of this important initiative,” said RICK BURKHOLDER, MS, ATC, PFATS president and head athletic trainer of the Kansas City Chiefs. “Athletic trainers play a critical role in the overall safety of all athletes, and the students at these winning schools will receive the medical services they so deserve.”
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About The NFL Foundation: The National Football League Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of those touched by the game of football – from players at all levels to communities across the country. The NFL Foundation represents the 32 NFL clubs and supports the health, safety and wellness of athletes, youth football, and the communities that support our game. For more information on The NFL Foundation, visit: www.NFLFoundation.org.
About NATA: National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) – Health Care for Life & Sport Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers’ Association represents and supports 43,000 members of the athletic training profession. Visit www.nata.org.
About Gatorade: The Gatorade Company, a division of PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP), provides sports performance innovations designed to meet the needs of athletes at all competitive levels and across a broad range of sports. Backed by a 50 year history of studying the best athletes in the world and grounded in years of hydration and sports nutrition research at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, Gatorade provides scientifically formulated products to meet the sports fueling needs of athletes in all phases of athletic activity. For more information and a full list of products, please visit www.gatorade.com.
About PFATS: The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS) is a Professional Association representing the athletic trainers of the National Football League. We serve the players of the NFL, the member Clubs, and other members of the community. Our purpose is to insure the highest quality of health care is provided to the National Football League. We are dedicated to the welfare of our members and committed to the promotion and advancement of athletic training through education and research. The Society is founded on the professional integrity and the ethical standards of our members and the fellowship that exists among us. “PFATS cares to make a difference”
NFL: Catherine Boyle, 212/450-2162; firstname.lastname@example.org
NATA / PFATS: Robin Waxenberg, 212/489-8006; email@example.com
Ellen Satlof, 972/532-8859; firstname.lastname@example.org
Gatorade: Katie Montiel Vidaillet, 312/821-2859; email@example.com
Athletic Trainer Initiative Contest Winners:
- Alden-Conger Public School (Alden, MN) – Due to budget and accessibility constraints, Alden-Conger has no athletic trainer coverage at practices or games for any of their sports programs. The grant will allow the school to launch its own athletic training program and work with local clinics to offer additional services to student athletes for injury treatment and recovery.
- Attica Central School (Attica, NY) – Attica is one of the few schools in its conference without an athletic trainer. The grant will allow the school to hire a full-time certified athletic trainer and purchase the necessary supplies and equipment to provide full athletic training services for all of its sports programs.
- California Lutheran High School (Wildomar, CA) – Due to budget constraints, California Lutheran has no athletic training services for its student athletes and relies on coaches to assess and treat injuries. The grant will allow the school to launch an athletic training program and provide a training facility on campus. Additionally, the school plans to establish a concussion protocol system and implement baseline testing for all of its student athletes.
- Canyon Ridge High School (Twin Falls, ID) – Canyon Ridge lacks access to an athletic trainer and relies on parent volunteers to assist with medical needs for its 16 sports programs. With the grant, the school will be able to afford a partnership with the local hospital to provide an athletic trainer within the school. In addition, the school plans to restart its athletic training development program for students and offer concussion awareness seminars for student athletes, coaches and parents.
- Carlisle High School (Henderson, TX) – Carlisle has no athletic trainer coverage at practices or games. With the grant, the school hopes to hire a full-time athletic trainer and establish a training facility for its sports programs at both the junior high and high school. The school also plans to implement a sports medicine program for students interested in the profession.
- John Muir High School (Pasadena, CA) –John Muir has no access to an athletic trainer and relies on volunteers to support coaches with medical needs at games. This prevents the school from implementing proper injury prevention and assessment methods and providing the necessary equipment to ensure the safety of their student athletes. The grant will allow the school to hire a full-time athletic trainer and provide athletic training services – staff, facilities, equipment, supplies and access – for all. Currently lacking proper equipment, the school plans to use the funds to obtain diagnostic tools and technology for proper evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of concussions.
- Lutheran High School (Chula Vista, CA) – Lutheran currently relies on coaches for medical coverage during practices and games. This grant will allow Lutheran to launch an athletic training program with a full-time athletic trainer, permanent training facility, and proper equipment and supplies.
- Marist High School (Bayonne, NJ) – Marist currently does not have the funds to employ an athletic trainer and has minimal athletic trainer coverage for its sports programs. With the grant, Marist hopes to establish a formal athletic training program with a full-time athletic trainer, training facility and proper supplies and equipment to improve care for its student athletes.
- Mount St. Michael Academy (Bronx, NY) – Currently, Mount St. Michael can only support a part-time athletic trainer for its 17 athletic programs. The grant will allow the school to hire a full-time athletic trainer for the 2016-2017 school year.
- Orrick R-XI High School (Orrick, MO) – Due to budget restrictions, the school has no athletic trainer coverage and relies on coaches for injury assessment and treatment. The grant will enable the school to provide student athletes with athletic training services from the top sports medicine facility in the area. Students will also have access to the sports medicine clinic for rehabilitation and care.
- Pleasant Valley High School (Chico, CA) – Budget constraints have impacted Pleasant Valley High’s ability to employ a full-time athletic trainer. The school has more than 1,200 student athletes that lack access to an athletic trainer and rely on coaches to provide medical care. With the grant, the school hopes to hire a full-time California teaching-credentialed athletic trainer, who would provide coverage at all sporting events, as well as teach sports medicine and health courses at the school.
- St. Anthony Village High School (Minneapolis, MN) – St. Anthony Village is the only public high school without consistent athletic trainer coverage in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul area. The school currently has athletic trainer coverage for only varsity contests in two sports and no coverage for junior varsity and other lower-level programs. With the grant, the school will be able to provide athletic trainer coverage for all of its practices and home sports events. In addition, the school will begin baseline concussion testing for all of its student athletes to improve diagnosis and treatment.
- St. Thomas More High School (Rapid City, SD) – St. Thomas More currently has minimal athletic trainer coverage, limited to a few practices and varsity home games, and lacks the proper space and equipment for an adequate athletic training program. The school plans to use the grant to boost athletic trainer coverage, refurbish its facility for athletic training services and offer sports medicine courses for students interested in the profession.
- Walpole High School (Walpole, MA) – Walpole currently relies on a part-time athletic trainer for coverage of more than 20 athletic programs and more than 800 student athletes. The grant will allow Walpole to employ a full-time athletic trainer and expand their training facilities to better meet the needs of the student athletes.
- William V. Fisher Catholic High School (Lancaster, OH) – Due to budget constraints, William V. Fisher Catholic High School can only afford minimal athletic trainer coverage for its sports programs and relies on coaches to manage injuries. With this grant, the school plans to hire a full-time athletic trainer for its sports programs, as well as update its athletic training room with new equipment and supplies. As an employee of the school, the athletic trainer would also teach educational and development courses to students interested in careers in athletic training. In addition, the funds will provide the school the ability to implement baseline concussion testing for its students.