A new initiative is encouraging high schools across the country to expand the use of athletic trainers.
The NFL Foundation, Gatorade, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS), and the University of Connecticut’s Korey Stringer Institute (KSI) are partnering on the project, which will award grants to high school programs in four pilot states: Arizona, Illinois, Oklahoma and Oregon.
The goal of the program is to support athletic training programs, since many high schools don’t have access to this kind of medical care. According to UConn Today, nearly two-thirds of high schools in the U.S. don’t have a full-time athletic trainer, and almost 30 percent don't have any access to an athletic trainer.
“The massive responsibility of keeping hundreds of athletes safe at a particular high school should never be the responsibility of a sport coach or the athletic director, they have no training to properly handle this task,” KSI CEO Douglas Casa told UConn Today. “We are very proud to partner with this grant program that has a primary goal of increasing the number of schools serviced by an athletic trainer and to enhance the amount of medical care for those that already have some.”
The program will award $35,000 grants to 150 programs across the pilot states, and the program’s sponsors hope that improving access to athletic trainers will improve health outcomes for athletes at the high school level.
More information about the grant program is available here.