Shelby Watts is the Athletic Training student representative for District One. This past June she traveled to Washington D.C. with four other ATCs from the state of Maine: Tim Weston, Barbara Blackstone, Chris Rizzo, and Matt Campbell. These five AT ambassadors met with the staff members of Senators Angus King and Susan Collins, as well as the staff members of Maine’s two house representatives. Shelby met with a staffer from Chellie Pingree’s office (representative of the Southern Maine region). The group was advocating the legislators to co-sponsor (sign) two proposed documents: (1) A student athlete’s bill of rights, which basically says that athletes should have access to a full-time athletic trainer in the secondary school setting. Currently only 35-37% of high schools across the country have access to a full-time athletic trainer. (2) A sports medicine licensure clarity act which would allow a licensed ATC to provide care for their athletes across state lines while traveling with their teams. This is important because a trainer’s liability insurance may not cover him if he practices in a different state than the one he is licensed in.
Everyone that the group talked to was very optimistic that the legislators would be in support of these two proposals, if they weren’t already signed on to them. It is great to see such enthusiastic support from the political leaders of the state of Maine.