Certified Athletic Trainer Program
Ensuring the health and safety of youth athletes is a top priority. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, presence of certified athletic trainers (ATs) can decrease injury rates and increase concussion detection rates in school or other youth sports programs. Despite this, nearly two thirds of high schools do not have a full-time AT, and ~30% do not have any access to one. That’s why in 2014, the NFL Foundation, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), and the Professional Football Athletic Trainers’ Society (PFATS) began a partnership to increase the presence of ATs in high schools nationwide. The NFL Foundation, NFL clubs and NATA have committed more than $1 million to place ATs in underserved high schools in NFL markets. Last year, 16 NFL clubs participated in the grant program, working with local high schools to support schools and community youth sports programs. Specifically, the Jacksonville Jaguars awarded a grant to the Jacksonville Sports Medicine Program which will serve the needs within the Duval County Public Schools in 2015.
As of the 2019/2020 school year, all 17 of the Duval County Schools will have a full-time Athletic Trainer, or a full-time Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer, which concludes the mission of Project-17. The DCPS community has made great strides and efforts with supporting the Athletic Trainers and rallying around student-athlete safety.