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National Contest Aims to Enhance Athlete Safety at Underserved High Schools


The NFL Foundation, National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA), Gatorade and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society (PFATS) last week announced the launch of a contest to give high schools across the country a chance to win much-needed funding for athletic trainers. With nearly two-thirds of high schools lacking a full-time athletic trainer and almost thirty percent without any athletic trainer at all, this initiative will help to ensure the future safety of young athletes in America.

Entries into the contest will be accepted through November 12, 2015. Fifteen high schools will each be awarded $50,000 to be used to fund athletic trainers. Ten additional high schools will be selected to each receive a unique athletic safety presentation given by a local athletic trainer, in addition to a safety starter kit, which includes a Hydration Starter Kit from Gatorade and educational materials.

To enter, eligible entrants can visit, where they will provide information about their current need for an athletic trainer and their proposed plan for how the $50,000 grant would be used to enhance sports safety at their school.

"This initiative is a continuation of the NFL Foundation's dedication to improving the health and safety of youth athletes," said Dallas Cowboys Executive Vice President CHARLOTTE JONES ANDERSON, chair of the NFL Foundation. "We understand the significant positive impacts of athletic trainers and are pleased to provide access to this valuable resource to additional schools across the country, keeping more athletes of all ages safer."

"The National Athletic Trainers' Association is committed to enhancing the quality of health care that young athletes receive through access to athletic trainers," said NATA President SCOTT SAILOR, EdD, ATC. "Together, we can ensure best practices are put in place in underserved schools and make sports safer for all communities."

The contest is a further extension of the NFL Foundation, NATA, and PFATS' athletic trainer outreach program, which began in 2014. With Gatorade joining as a new partner in 2015, the groups will donate more than $2 million to the program, doubling last year's contribution. Last year, through the program, sixteen NFL teams developed programs within their communities to reach more than 160,000 youth athletes across more than 670 schools.

"We are thrilled to be expanding our partnerships with the NATA and NFL Foundation by joining this effort and helping to ensure the safety of future youth athletes," said JEFF KEARNEY, senior director of Gatorade Sports Marketing. "With more than eight million high school athletes in the U.S., we have the chance to make a significant, measureable impact on player health and safety and believe this program is an important step toward the ultimate goal of having a full-time athletic trainer in every high school in the country."

"The Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society is proud to partner with the NFL Foundation, NATA and Gatorade to increase the number of athletic trainers available to high school students across the country," says RICK BURKHOLDER, MS, ATC, PFATS president and head athletic trainer of the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Browns partnered with University Hospitals and teamed up with Cleveland Metropolitan School District in 2014-15 to provide certified athletic trainers at John Hay and James Ford Rhodes High Schools >> Read more

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THE CONTEST. Contest begins 11:00:00AM ET on 10/09/15 and ends 11:59:59PM ET on 11/12/15. Must be a legal resident of the (50) U.S. or DC, 18 , & a High School Administrator, Teacher, Coach, or administrative director at a state-accredited private/public high school to participate. Visit for Official Rules, which govern, & complete details. Sponsors: National Football League Foundation & National Football League.

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