The Green Bay Packers have awarded a $20,000 NFL Matching Grant to Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) to provide a certified athletic trainer on the sidelines of each football game in the district.
Funded through the NFL Club Matching Certified Athletic Trainer Grant Program, the grant is designed to help NFL teams increase access to certified athletic trainers in their communities. By expanding access to athletic trainers at the high school level, the grant is aimed at helping underserved communities that currently do not have the ability to provide an athletic trainer for games.
The grant provides coverage through Midwest Orthopedic Sports Medicine, and will ensure an athletic trainer at 106 total games and scheduled practice visits throughout the season. As a result of the grant, more than 800 high school football players between 14 MPS high schools will have access to an athletic trainer.
"Player safety, especially at the youth and high school levels, needs to be taken very seriously," said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy. "Access to athletic trainers is an invaluable resource for football programs and students as they learn and develop as athletes and young adults, and we're proud to be a part of expanding that access for the next two seasons."
The grant is a component of the NFL Club Matching Youth Football Grant Program, which allows NFL clubs to identify and support youth and high school football needs and growth opportunities in their respective markets. Through matching funds from the NFL Foundation, NFL clubs develop and/or support singular or multiple football initiatives at the youth level, thus effectively addressing issues facing the game while also promoting local youth and high school football programs.
Currently, MPS does not employ athletic trainers for any freshman, JV or varsity football games or practices. This grant will cover the entire cost of ensuring an athletic trainer at every MPS high school football game for two years.
MPS will incorporate the cost of having athletic trainers present at each game into its budget plan for the 2017 season and moving forward.