Canyon Ridge Awarded $50,000 from NFL Foundation to Hire Athletic Trainer
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – An athletic trainer has been hired for Canyon Ridge High School, thanks to a $50,000 grant awarded to the school by four organizations, including the NFL Foundation.
Canyon Ridge was one of 15 schools nationwide to receive the grant by the NFL Foundation, National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Gatorade and Professional Football Athletic Trainers Society.
“It’s quite a windfall, to be honest, to be one of 15 schools given this honor,” said Lonnie Ahlquist, the school’s athletic director.
The money allows the school to hire a trainer for 20 hours a week through St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, he said. The school also plans to reintroduce a sports medicine program – something that went away at the school in 2013.
So far the school has identified about 10 students who are interested in the program, but Ahlquist said he can foresee 20 to 30 students participating early on with recruiting efforts. The program will give students interested in a career in sports medicine the opportunity to learn more about the topic.
“Canyon Ridge is a big school and growing every year,” Ahlquist said. “We have just over 400 students participating in 15 sports. That doesn’t even count some of our clubs like bowling and swimming. We are starting a lacrosse club. We have to make sure we have the support from the back end.”
Hiring an athletic trainer is a big piece of the puzzle.
The grant process began when Ahlquist filled out an application in October, identifying needs at the school and healthcare partners in the area. The winning schools were announced this week at the annual Youth Sports Safety Summit in Alexandria, Va. Canyon Ridge was the only school in Idaho selected as a grant recipient.
“This effort addresses a critical need and provides the means for these high schools to establish athletic training programs that will enhance the health and safety of their student athletes,” Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president of Health and Safety Policy said in a prepared statement. “This is an area of priority for us, and we will continue to work with our partners to expand access to athletic trainers in more schools across the country.”
Canyon Ridge’s athletic trainer will work mostly in the afternoons.
“It will provide great peace of mind having a trainer here when injuries come up,” Ahlquist said. “We hope injuries don’t come up, but if they do we’ll have someone here.”