Duncan schools have been awarded a grant by the NFL, which will go toward athletic trainer funding.
The grant, which according to the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA), is a collaborative between NATA and the NFL to help schools who are in need of an athletic trainer.
Duncan Superintendent Melonie Hau said it’s a step in the right direction in making sure the students have the support they need.
“There are not many schools that have an athletic trainer on staff,” Hau said. “Because of the mandates that are coming from the legislature, and not only that, but it’s the responsible thing to do for our athlete’s overall health and wellbeing to have a certified athletic trainer, a health professional available for students who are injured.”
According to NATA and the NFL, four states were selected for the program, with up to 150 schools selected to receive funding.
Duncan’s application was accepted and the funds are much needed amidst budget cuts in the state.
While the funding doesn’t fix the issue completely, Hau said it will make a big difference for the students.
“We are seeking funding in order to provide that,” Hau said. “This grant is $35,000 over three years and it won’t fully fund somebody to come on staff but it does help. It’s an additional piece of funding we can utilize to make sure we can work toward the goal of having a full time certified athletic trainer on staff. Right now we have a trainer that is acting as a consultant for us, that is (on) a stipend we pay, but we really would like to move toward having somebody full time in an athletic trainer position, but we can’t do that without securing the funding that we need in order to make that happen.”
The funds will currently allow the school to add additional hours for the current athletic trainer.