Article reposted from The Gazette
Author: Erin Jordan
As national awareness grows of injuries at all levels of sports, the University of Iowa Recreational Services has signed a contract with Athletico Physical Therapy to provide athletic training for some club sports.
The $6,000 contract for the 2016-17 school year says Athletico, a Chicago-area chain with two clinics in Iowa City, will provide a licensed, certified athletic trainer at all home competitions of rugby, soccer, lacrosse, hockey and track and field, as well as club volleyball and club wrestling.
“For a lot of the activities we have, although they’re not the highest level of athletics, many of the participants were high school athletes or could be college athletes at another level,” said J.T. Timmons, Recreational Services director. “We feel we have an obligation to provide care for these folks.”
From 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur every year, according to the Brain Injury Research Institute.
Football is the most common sport for concussion risk for males, while soccer is the riskiest for females, the institute reports. But other sports with physical contact, such as hockey, rugby and wrestling, can result in concussions that require medical treatment and recovery.
“I used to play Triple A hockey in Wisconsin, and we would see a couple of concussions every year,” said Francesca Suino, a UI sophomore and president of the Lady Ice Hawks hockey team.
The trainer assigned to the Lady Ice Hawks comes to games and even skates with the team occasionally at practice, Suino said.
“The girls on our team are getting more comfortable with asking him questions,” she said. “It’s been really great knowing there is someone on the bench that can help us out.”
The UI has about 1,000 students participating in 50 club sports, which include everything from Aikido and archery to water polo and wakeboarding. Intramural sports include many additional students.
The Athletico partnership came out of a desire to provide more coverage for hundreds of club and intramural events happening throughout the school year, Timmons said. In addition to attending competitions, Athletico trainers are asked to help coordinate care for injured athletes and educate the teams about how to avoid injuries.
“The biggest benefit is a little more peace of mind,” Timmons said. “We can’t be everywhere all the time.”
Rec Services officials will evaluate the program at the end of the school year and see whether it should be continued and possibly expanded to more sports or to include practices for some sports, he said. Providing athletic training for a club or intramural sport could be a good opportunity for graduate students who want to become athletic trainers or physical therapists, Timmons said.