*Eden Prairie, MN* (August 25, 2014) – The Minnesota Vikings have partnered with TRIA Orthopaedic Center (TRIA) to provide certified athletic training coverage for all high school football programs within the Minneapolis and St. Paul School Districts this upcoming season.
"Athletic trainers play an important role in keeping young athletes safe," said Vikings Director of Sports Medicine and Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman. "The care provided by athletic trainers has a significant impact on student-athlete health, resulting in lower injury rates, fewer recurrent injuries, and improved diagnosis and return-to-play decisions for concussion and other injuries."
With a grant from the National Football League Foundation and a matching donation from Vikings ownership, $50,000 will be provided to ensure the proper care of nearly 600 football players in 13 Minneapolis and St. Paul high schools.
"The health and safety of players at all levels of the game is a priority of the NFL and the Minnesota Vikings," said Vikings Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Lester Bagley. "We are proud to be one of the first NFL teams to make this commitment and we look forward to expanding this role in the future."
The high school football programs will receive certified athletic training coverage from TRIA for camps, practices and competitions. TRIA will also conduct neurocognitive baseline testing as a tool for concussion management, offer ACL injury prevention programs and coordinate physician coverage for varsity football games. Additionally, Total Luxury Limousine has joined the partnership to provide medical transportation for athletes of need that require a physician's visit.
"TRIA is excited to join the Vikings in this partnership and bring medical expertise to this initiative," said Dr. Joel Boyd,TRIA orthopaedic surgeon and Vikings team physician. "All parties involved are focused on keeping young athletes safe and healthy and this program will continue to reinforce those efforts. We thank the Vikings for their commitment to athletes of the future and look forward to establishing a cornerstone program for the Minneapolis-St. Paul communities."
"This program will absolutely benefit our student athletes, parents, coaches and school communities," said St. Paul Public Schools Assistant Superintendent Theresa Battle. "We appreciate the Vikings, the NFL and TRIA for recognizing the need for providing safe, positive experiences for the students of the Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools."
"We are pleased to partner with the Vikings and TRIA for much needed football athletic training services our high schools," said Minneapolis Public Schools Athletic Director Trent Tucker. "Thanks to the Minnesota Vikings and the National Football League in recognizing the need for providing safe, positive experiences for the students of the Minneapolis Public Schools."