The Back to Sports Mini-Grant Program, an initiative of the National Football League and American Heart Association, is accepting applications for the 2016-17 school year.
Established in 2015, Back to Sports promotes physical activity and safe sport participation by providing athletic trainers with the needed materials to organize, promote, prepare and present meetings with parents and guardians of upper elementary, middle and high school aged students who participate or are considering participating in sports. Topics discussed during these meetings include concussion awareness, prevention of heat-related illnesses and dehydration, cardiac arrest and proper response and overuse injury prevention.
As sports medicine professionals trained in prevention, emergency care and rehabilitation, athletic trainers are the ideal candidates to facilitate such educational discussions. As Back to Sports facilitators, participating athletic trainers can inform parents and guardians about important habits and skills that can help keep their children safe. This also is a great opportunity for athletic trainers to further showcase their capabilities as health care experts to their school administrators, coaches and parents of athletes.
All athletic trainers can apply for a Back to Sports Mini-Grant. There are two levels of mini-grants available – Tier 1, for new mini-grant recipients, and Tier 2, for returning mini-grant recipients. All Tier 1 participants will receive a one-time $250 honorarium from the American Heart Association. Mini-grant recipients must conduct their meeting sometime during the 2016-17 school year. At least 30 participants much attend the meeting. Multiple meetings can be held to reach 30 participants.
As a facilitator, the athletic trainer is responsible for organizing, promoting and preparing for the meeting. Each facilitator will receive a Back to Sports Toolkit, which includes a planning guide, downloadable presentation slides and scripts, customizable invitations, promotional posters and meeting signage, youth sports safety videos and resources for parents, among other materials.
After the meeting, the athletic trainer is required to turn in a short facilitator post-survey and share any successes that came out of the meeting with Back to Sports.
For more information on the Back to Sports Mini-Grant Program and mini-grant requirements, as well as the grant application, visit the Back to Sports website.