Trusted Coaches, a Spring Lake Park-based organization, is making a difference in the lives of youth athletes. Not only has Trusted Coaches trained thousands of youth coaches through its interactive website, it has also helped local youth football organizations receive equipment grants through USA Football.

“On behalf of the entire Trusted Coaches team, we are excited to help provide a USA Football equipment grant to the Cloquet Youth Football Association, which joined the mission of Trusted Coaches this season,” said Dawson Blanck, executive director of Trusted Coaches. “By joining Trusted Coaches, they also created a ‘one-stop shop’ for their coaches because of our partnership with USA Football and their Youth Tackle Certification. This grant is one of the many benefits that are strengthened through the Trusted Coaches partnership with USA Football.

“We appreciate the opportunity to present this grant to an organization that is stressing the importance of providing a safe, positive and productive experience for their future Lumberjacks,” Blanck said. “This helps Coach Lenarz and Cloquet Football equip players with new equipment, while continuing to promote all the many benefits that the great game of football provides.”

Tom Lenarz, director of Cloquet Youth Football, said the funds from USA Football will go toward the purchase of new Riddell helmets.

“We are excited to be able to use this money to put our kids in newer and safer equipment,” Lenarz said.

“We have applied to USA Football several times in the past for equipment grant money and were not selected as one of the organizations that received funds,” Lenarz said. “I am very grateful to Trusted Coaches for its role in helping to provide this opportunity for our organization and our kids. USA Football and Trusted Coaches are providing organizations like ours the tools and training we need to keep the game of football strong, I am grateful for the assistance that both organizations provide.”

“We are proud to be working with the Cloquet Youth Football Association in 2018,” said Mike Cuzzone, central region manager for USA Football. “It marks the fourth straight year that the association has been engaged in Heads Up Football. Their dedication to making the game better and safer is clearly shown by their effort to ensure all coaches are certified every year. We are excited that they will be able to utilize the equipment grant to enhance their program and assist with another successful football season this fall.”

The other organization selected for a USA Football equipment grant through Trusted Coaches is the Jr. Polar Youth Football Association in North St. Paul.

Trusted Coaches was created by Minnesota Youth Athletic Services as a response to youth athletic associations’ need to train coaches and protect young athletes. The Trusted Coaches program includes first-aid training, concussion instruction, positive coach training and a nationwide criminal background check.

A key component to the Trusted Coaches program is managed with a state-of-the-art website that includes a national registry for tracking. The website allows parents to track their coaches and see if they are certified.

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