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Minor football getting safer

HFA gets Trillium cash for helmets and safety training

 By Mark Newman, News Staff 

Some 200 coaches in the Hamilton Football Association will be certified under Football Canada’s Safe Contact program thanks to an $118,600 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

“We are the first football association in the country to be labeled a Safe Contact association,” said Joe Sardo, director of operations for the HFA’s youth division. “This is very big.”

Sardo said the Safe Contact program is a Football Canada initiative “to make the sport safer for kids and teach the modern ways of tackling, get the head out of tackling.”

As part of Football Canada’s national coaching certification program each coach must complete Safe Contact training.

The grant money, to be paid over two years, will also be used to purchase 600 to 700 new helmets for the association which has over 1,000 registered players.

Sardo, who is also Canada’s first NCCP certified football head coach, said three of their coaches got certified to teach the Safe Contact program last December and on March 23, 71 coaches attended safety training at  St. Thomas More Catholic Secondary School.

He noted the training at STM was split between in class instruction and working on the field with players and parents.

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