Winners of the first-ever AT Initiative have been announced! At a press event held in conjunction with the 2016 Youth Sports Safety Summit, NATA President Scott Sailor and NFL Senior Manager, Health and Safety Policy, Amy Jorgenson, announced the 15 winners of the contest, which awarded $50,000 to deserving schools that demonstrated a need to improve or create a sustainable, full-time AT program at their respective schools. This year’s winners are:
As an alumni of Alden-Conger and a three sport athlete of the school district, I was well aware of the need for an athletic trainer. I graduated from Alden-Conger in 2011 and attended Gustavus earning my Bachelor of Arts in Athletic Training in 2015. I chose athletic training as my field of study because I had been a high school athlete who suffered multiple injuries. During my rehabilitation, I met and worked with an athletic trainer at an outpatient center and became very interested in the field of athletic training. Not wanting to leave sports, I realized my experience with injuries would allow me to relate my patients. I was recently married and we plan to make our home in Alden as my husband works there and I currently work in Albert Lea while I am searching for an athletic training position. I passed along the information about the grant to the administration at Alden-Conger after I saw it posted on NATA's Facebook page. I thought it would be a great opportunity for my hometown, I had attended a few sporting events this fall and this winter where it appeared that coaches maybe were not able to make the best medical decisions for the athletes during games because of the needs of the team. Also, I had been approached by parents of athletes inquiring about injuries and wanting advice knowing I was a certified athletic trainer. I believe for the district to have this asset and opportunity to help provide a safe environment for athletics to take place, especially being such a small school, this grant will provide something they would never have been able to afford on their own. Having an athletic trainer to help guide, inform, and care for the athletes, coaches, and community in a multitude of ways as the profession allows I think will benefit the district. I plan to apply for the athletic trainer position at Alden-Conger when it becomes available but know this will be beneficial for the district regardless of who holds the position.