Amateur Sports

Golden Gopher Selected for US Volleyball Team


Article reposted from University of Minnesota
Author: University of Minnesota

Ronni Beatty-Kollasch has been named the athletic trainer for the United States’ team that is set to compete at the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Women’s U20 World Championships. The event will be held July 14-23, in Boca del Rio and Cordoba, Mexico.

A total of 16 teams will compete at the event, including the United States, which qualified for the tournament after the Women’s U20 Pan American Cup earlier this year. This is the first international event Beatty-Kollasch has been named an athletic trainer for a Team USA championship. Beatty-Kollasch previously volunteered at the USA Women’s Open Tryouts and the Collegiate High Performance team the past two years.

Beatty-Kollasch has been with the University of Minnesota for 13 years and has been a certified athletic trainer for 17 years. She earned her undergraduate degree in 1999 from the University of Minnesota and was a student athletic trainer in an internship program with then the Gopher men’s athletics from 1997 — 1999 prior to her certification. She went on to be a graduate assistant athletic trainer at Auburn University where she worked under the Hughston Clinic/ Kenny Howard Athletic Training Fellowship. Beatty-Kollasch earned her master’s of education degree in 2001 and started her athletic training career working at the University of Wyoming with volleyball, wrestling, and swimming & diving. After her departure from Wyoming in 2004, she worked in Louisville, Ky. for the Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team for one year prior to initiating her time at the University of Minnesota.

Amateur Sports

Athletic Trainer Lands Spot on Team USA for Special Olympics


Article reposted from
Author: Matt McClain

Greg Eberle is the assistant director of sports medicine at the Hopedale Wellness Center and the Chairman of the Medical Committee for Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games.

But earlier this year he had the opportunity of a lifetime: To work with Team USA’s medical staff for the Special Olympics World Games in Austria.

“I put my application in and I had the great honor of being one of six members on the medical team for Team USA.”

Eberle’s main responsibility was overseeing activities at the snowshoeing venue and it was a dream come true.

“Being able to go over there and represent Team USA and be there for the athletes, it is a great honor. We were part of something bigger than ourselves. We were there for the athletes. It was great to see them go over there and compete at their best.”

Working with the Special Olympics athletes motivated Eberle to work as hard as he could each and every day.

“Every one of them is brave in the attempt and they do give it all they got. And that’s inspiring to all of us as their support staff. Theres no reason why we cant go out there and perform our daily task one hundred percent with a good attitude.”

“The unity that was shown on the world stage was the main thing that Eberle took from his experiences with Team USA, and plans to use in his daily life.

“The true essence of Special Olympics is that unity, that teamwork, the sportsmanship. I’m going to be there for you, you’re going to be there for me and we are going to do this together.”

Amateur Sports

Athletic Therapist Receives Universiade Games Medal


Article reposted from
Author: Jonathon Brodie

James Sawchuk wasn’t expecting to get a bronze medal after the Canadian mens’ ice hockey team beat Czech Republic 4-3 at the Universiade Games.

Sawchuk, from Mallorytown, was the athletic therapist for the Canucks and he didn’t get a medal when he held the same job with the national volleyball squad that won a silver in 2007 at the Universiade Games and there was no reason to think he would get one this time around.

The coaching staff and players, which included Prescott-born forward Ryan Van Stralen, received their medals at a ceremony after the bronze game a couple of weeks ago. At that time Sawchuk and the equipment manager were the only ones to not get a medal and then just before they were about to leave they were given bronzes after people from the Canadian delegation pulled a few strings.

“I kind of anticipated that as a staff I wouldn’t receive one this time physically, so to actually get one is really quite exciting,” said Sawchuk, part of Queen’s athletic therapy services. “To get a medal was really very much an honour and really quite humbling.”

Sawchuk is going to try to do something special with his medal and the Canadian jersey he was given with his name on the back of it.

The experience of putting on a medal that you helped your country win is a humbling feeling, Sawchuk said. He went out to Kazakhstan, where the Winter Universiade was held, and did his job to the best of his abilities.

He passes the praise to the Canadian players, though, and modestly adds, “That really in the end, they’re the ones who did all the work.” The Canadian delegation making sure he got a medal might not agree with that comment.

Sawchuk getting named to Team Canada’s staff is a recognition of its own.

Queen’s hockey coach Brett Gibson, from Gananoque, got to pick his own staff and could have chosen anyone to take with him to the Universiade as his athletic therapist, but he selected to stick with Sawchuk, someone he has around all the time with the Golden Gaels.

This was Sawchuk’s second time at the Universiade and it was vastly different from when he went to Thailand for the Games 10 years ago. Last time he went to the Universiade he was working fulltime with Volleyball Canada and knew the players very well for a considerable amount of time.

This year, with only four players from Queen’s on the Canadian roster, Sawchuk didn’t get to meet most of the team until their week-long training camp in December.

“It was different that way in that you were getting to know players and different personalities in what they need and expect from you,” Sawchuk said. “You’re trying to figure out everyone’s needs and see what they like to do before or after a game quicker, so you can make sure you’re on top of whatever they need for prep or recovery versus when I worked with Volleyball Canada I worked with those guys every single day.”

The other major difference between 2007 and 2017 is now he gets to hold onto his international hardware.

Amateur Sports

Oil Kings athletic therapist ready for World Juniors


Article reposted from Inews 880
Author: Reid Wilkins

For most, it would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.  For Brian Cheeseman, it’s old hat.

“It’s a huge honour to be selected once, let alone twice,” says the Edmonton Oil Kings athletic therapist, who for the second year in a row will work for Team Canada at the World Junior tournament.

Last year, Cheeseman was at the tournament in Finland.  Even though Canada didn’t win a medal, the sights and sounds will be with Cheeseman forever.

“It was an absolutely awesome experience,” he recalls. “To see how many fans made the trek from Canada watch the games is incredible. The atmosphere was amazing. It was so loud.  It didn’t matter who we were playing the round robin, it almost felt we had that home ice advantage.”

Canada actually will have home ice advantage this season, with their round robin games in Toronto and playoff games in Montreal.

Cheeseman, 35, grew up in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. Even though he didn’t play hockey, he knew he wanted to be around the game.

“I always had a fascination with injuries, how they happen, why they happen, how to rehab them,” he says.

He studied kinesiology at Memorial University, then completed an athletic therapist program at Sheridan College.  He worked for the Tri-City Americans and is now in his seventh season with the Oil Kings.

“I don’t consider it to be work. It’s a great place to come every day. We have great players, great coaches and staff,” says Cheeseman.

He knows fans often see him helping an injured player on the ice or on the bench, but he feels what he does behind the scenes is just as important.

“You’re almost in the position of being a big brother,” Cheeseman explains. “These guys are teenagers.  They’re away from family and friends and their normal, comfortable environment.  Our office doors are always open if they want to come in and talk about how their day is going, how life is going.   There’s more to the job than the injuries and the equipment and everything else.”

Cheeseman will head to Quebec Thursday for the Canadian team selection camp.  Canada’s first tournament game is Boxing Day against Russia.

Hear more from Brian Cheeseman on Inside Sports with Reid Wilkins from 6-8pm Wednesday night. (jrw)

Amateur Sports

Athletic Therapist keeps Hockey Team in flight


Article reposted from The Enterprise Bulletin
Author: Gisele Winton Sarvis

Alex Barton is at home with smelly, sweaty, testosterone filled young men who are giving their all for the game of hockey and sometimes suffering for it.

The athletic therapist for the Stayner Siskins, Barton is in her third year with the team being present and at-the-ready for every practice and game from summer training camp, through the regular season and the play-offs.

“I go everywhere with the team. It’s a big commitment. It can be really tiring,” Barton said in the trainer’s room while music blared before a game against the Penetang Kings.

“You learn how to be one of the guys, but sometimes they forget I’m a girl completely. And you get used to the smell. Not a first. It takes a while,” she said laughing.

During Thursday night’s game, she had a big sack of ice on Mack Falconer’s knee on the team bench, testing his mobility. Barton knew he had a pre-existing injury and discovered he didn’t have range of motion before the swelling took hold.

“So right away that tells me he can’t go out and play full tilt,” she said. “If the kids don’t have full range of motion, we don’t let them play.”

Later in the game, Kyle Paulitzki went into the boards head first and suffered a neck injury.

“There’s not a lot you can do for it immediately,” she said after the game as a player yelled out an obscenity in the hallway.

“You have to rule out if it’s an emergency. With neck injuries you are worried about a spinal and you have to look for tenderness in the neck, numbness, tingling or burning,” she said, as the music blared even louder.

She also checked another player’s shoulder in the hallway after the game.

Barton is often working on guys who are partially dressed and while she sees some nudity, she tries to keep it to a minimum.

“They know I’m here and I don’t go into the change room,” she said about the Siskins.

Also an emergency first responder, Barton attends to on-ice injuries. Last year a player from another team dislocated his kneecap and was in excruciating pain. Barton called an ambulance and stabilized and splinted his joint on the ice before the paramedics arrived and carried him to hospital.

Last year’s Siskins captain Ricky Darrell got hit hard and suffered a concussion during a game.

“He was not responsive right away so that was scary,” she said

“Other than that we’ve been lucky with the team in terms of bad injuries,” she said.

Barton sticks around after the game if there is injuries or pre-existing injuries that may get re-aggravated during the game. On Thursday night she was one of the last to leave the arena at about 11 p.m.

The Creemore resident works for herself at Synergy Health and Wellness Centre in Collingwood three days a week and at the Nottawa Wellness Centre two days a week and with the Siskins three or four times a week.

A graduate of the athletic therapy program of Sheridan College in 2011, Barton has been working in the field ever since.

“I enjoy working with sports teams. You get to see how the injury happens. When you see that, you are better able to treat the injury as it comes,” she said.

She got used to working in a men’s environment early on. While she was going to Sheridan she had placements with the University of Waterloo men’s rugby team and she worked with rep football teams during the summer. She’s also worked with boys hockey teams.

“It’s everyday. It doesn’t bother me anymore,” she said being around boisterous young men with colourful language.

She got interested in the field through lifeguarding.

“I always enjoyed helping people, so this involves both aspects, the emergency response part as well as helping people get back to doing what they love.”

The most rewarding part of the job is seeing players with an injury get better and get back on the ice, she said.

Amateur Sports

Grand Canyon U Professor earns key role in U.S. sports medicine


Article reposted from GCU Today

Olympic Games are widely considered the pinnacle of professional accomplishments, and that goes for athletes and non-athletes alike.

For Grand Canyon University faculty member Michael McKenney, his shining moments were behind the scenes to help athletes achieve elite performances.

McKenney is in his sixth year as a clinical coordinator and exercise science and an athletic training professor in the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions. But it was his work outside the classroom that landed him a coveted training position this summer at the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where elite athletes from around the world competed despite physical disabilities or impairments.

McKenney put himself in position to go to Rio when he volunteered for three weeks with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sports Medicine program last fall in California. His performance, based on interviews with athletes and other volunteers, was reviewed, and he then was invited to be part of national competitions. He worked with USABMX Cycling in Colombia in June and, based on more reviews from athletes and colleagues, was chosen to help the world.

“It’s been a lifelong dream, a pinnacle of a career, a crowning jewel,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, his stories and pictures of the Olympics, Paralympics and Rio itself are numerous. His wife,Cristina, and two children (ages 9 and 11) stayed in Phoenix while colleagues and fellow faculty in CONHCP filled his classroom void.

“It takes a village for this to happen,” he said. “It takes a team effort, from my wife and kids at home to (CONHCP Dean Dr. Melanie Logue), our staff, faculty, everyone. It was humbling.”

McKenney spent his days being something of a “walk-in clinic,” helping athletes as part of a global team of doctors, trainers and sports medicine personnel working with athletes from several countries in an interdisciplinary setup covering several sports. He helped with upper respiratory illnesses, neck muscles in knots from sleeping on the plane, bruises, muscle and tendon pulls, and the common cold — everything except surgery.

The rest of his time was split between being at the events and exploring the city and region of Brazil: beaches, biking around the city, visiting remote locations and eating indigenous cuisine. Contrary to reports of security issues before and during the Olympics, he never felt unsafe.

“They all wanted to talk and explain everything about Brazil and Rio,” he said. “The water and sewage issues were no joke, but they were wonderful hosts.”

He since has returned to teaching and coordinating the sports medicine program at GCU with an eye toward spot helping at a future Winter Games — Olympic or Paralympic.

Having never been to Brazil, McKenney returned home with new perspectives and knowledge easily acquired when working next to some of the world’s best within medicine and athletic training. That means the rewards he reaped from those three weeks will be imparted upon his GCU students.

“These things benefit students when faculty attend events like these,” he said. “Faculty learn and bring things back to share. The college and GCU benefit from having employees sharing and learning from others around the world. It allows us to grow individually, improve our resources, and this progression flows to students and the University.

“It puts all of these things on display, so ultimately everyone wins.”

Amateur Sports

Athletic Trainer Matt Eberhardt Works With World-Class Athletes


Article reposted from Gustavus Adolphus College

While people all around the world spent months and years eagerly waiting for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, many had no idea that the 2016 Paralympics followed just a few days later in the same location. This was not the case for Matt Eberhardt, athletic trainer at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Eberhardt with his fellow athletic trainers before the opening ceremony.

Eberhardt with his fellow athletic trainers before the opening ceremony.

Eberhardt had the privilege of traveling to the 2016 Paralympic Games for three weeks last month to work with some of the most talented athletes in the world. He used his 11-years of expertise of working with collegiate athletes as he served as an athletic trainer for the USA Track and Field team.

Over the past seven years, Eberhardt has worked with field hockey, gymnastics, track and field, and Greco-Roman wrestling. Prior to accompanying the USA Paralympic team to Rio, Eberhardt volunteered at Paralympic training centers in Colorado Springs, Colo., Chula Vista, Calif. and Lake Placid, Colo. Eberhardt also worked with USA Track and Field at the 2015 Parapan American Games in Toronto, which is the qualifying event for the Paralympic games. Impressed with Eberhardt’s credentials, the National Governing Body (NGB) appointed him apart of the medical team for the USA Track and Field Paralympic team.

Eberhardt found the Paralympic athletes remarkable because of their ability to live their lives as if they don’t have a physical disability. Eberhardt met the “Armless Archer”, Matt Stutzman, in athlete’s village. Stutzman, 2012 Paralympic silver medalist, is a world record holder for longest accurate shot in archery.

“Matt Stutzman plays basketball, swims, lives his normal life, drives his own car,” Eberhardt said. “Matt is a normal guy, but also an elite athlete.”

A common question asked at the Paralympic games is, ‘how do Paralympic athletes feel about being seen as inspiring?’ After being around the Paralympic athletes for three weeks, Eberhardt was inspired by the way they go about living their lives.

“The biggest thing is how normally they live and train,” he said. “They are just like elite athletes in the Olympics, although, elite athletes are not normal people. Their full time job is competing and training, spending the same amount of time and energy on this as any other Olympian.”

Lex Gillette is a four-time Paralympian (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) and a three-time Paralympic medalist (three silver medals). Gillette represents the USA Track and Field team in the long jump. He lost his eyesight at the age of 10 and is the only blind athlete in the world to eclipse the 22-foot barrier in the long jump. Eberhardt was able to talk with Gillette and get a better understanding of the athlete’s reality.

Eberhardt poses with ?

“He was a world record holder and had two silver medals at the time, and I was realizing anybody walking by just saw a blind man and nobody knew who he was,” Eberhardt said.

The 2016 Rio Olympic games aired a total of 6,000 hours, compared to only 66 hours aired at the 2016 Paralympic games. In Great Britain, the Paralympic athletes are more recognized because of the Paralympic coverage provided there. Eberhardt believes that with more worldwide coverage of the Paralympics, more people would aspire to compete at that high of a high level. They would witness Lex Gillette competing in the long jump, trusting his guide to tell him the exact second when to release, and realize that they are also capable of reaching such heights.

Eberhardt is excited to be back at Gustavus and share his experience in Rio with others. He hopes to increase interest in the Paralympic games and spread the remarkable stories of Paralympic athletes.

“This experience wouldn’t have been possible without the unconditional support from my coworkers, wife, and two-year-old son,” Eberhardt said. “I can’t thank my coworkers enough for working extra hours and filling in for me when I was in Rio. My wife showed tremendous flexibility, hiring babysitters and watching our son while juggling work. My wife and my co-workers deserve a lot of thanks.”

Amateur Sports

Georgetown College Professor, Athletic Trainer Wins Paralympic Gold


Article reposted from Georgetown College

As the team’s athletic trainer, Karla Wessels, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Director of Georgetown College’s Athletic Training Program, was on the sidelines when the USA women’s wheelchair basketball squad brought home the gold at the recently-completed Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Going undefeated and receiving the gold after defeating Germany 62-45 was the culmination of four years of preparation by the dozen members of the team and their coaches and athletic trainer, Dr. Wessels.

“We had been having training camps and competitions to train and qualify for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio,” said Dr. Wessels, who explained that athletes for the Olympics and Paralympics have to do similar things to compete at the games. They must train for at least four years and they have to qualify. “We trained in Colorado Springs, Birmingham, and Lake Placid, NY. We competed in Colorado Springs, Lake Placid, and Toronto as well as Hamburg and Frankfurt (Germany).”

Prior to joining the faculty of Georgetown College in 2014, Dr. Wessels was working at the University of Illinois for the wheelchair basketball team. The head coach of that team, Stephanie Wheeler, with whom Dr. Wessels had a solid working relationship, was picked to serve as head coach of the national team. Coach Wheeler then asked Dr. Wessels to serve as athletic trainer for the national team.

Karla-FB_IMG_1474081305062_resized“The most exciting thing (for me) was watching my team win gold because no one believed we could do it two years ago,” said Dr. Wessels. “When we competed at World’s in 2014 (World ParaAthletics Championships), we placed fourth. The girls needed to do a lot of work in those two years since the World’s to even make a medal game. They not only stepped up to the challenge but conquered it. They did everything that was asked of them and came together as a team. Seeing all of that unfold has been most exciting.”

As an athletic trainer, Dr. Wessels specializes in concussions, balance, and treatments for people with physical disabilities. She said it was her responsibility with the women’s wheelchair basketball team to help the members compete at their highest level by hopefully preventing but then treating any injuries that might occur. Fortunately, there were none, so she primarily worked to loosen muscle cramps and increase mobility and flexibility.

“We were fortunate that we did not have any big challenges that we had to face,” she said. “We prepared ourselves not only on the court but off the court to minimize any distractions and make sure we controlled everything that we could.”

Since the Paralympics were held after the start of the fall academic term at Georgetown College, it became necessary for Dr. Wessels to conduct classes online. Her lectures were recorded and she was available to students by phone and email. Her work with athletes with physical disabilities is integrated into her teaching. Through the athletic training program in Kinesiology and Health Studies, she and her students have volunteered at the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in Louisville for the last two years.

“This gives the students the chance to work with athletes with physical disabilities and exposes them to more opportunities,” she said. “In class, we also often talk about adaptations and ways we may do things differently to work with this population.”

Looking ahead to the next Paralympics, Dr. Wessels says she would love to do it again. “From time to time, I will still be doing events in the states whenever I am asked. I will know more when the staff is chosen for the next Paralympics cycle.”

As for the Paralympics in Rio, Dr. Wessels said, “It was huge for me to just be there working as a medical professional. There are very few medical professionals that get to go, and I am very fortunate that I was one of them.”

“We are very proud and grateful that Dr. Wessels has had the opportunity to apply her knowledge abroad and work with one of our Olympic teams,” said an excited Jean Kiernan, Associate Professor, who chairs the Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies. “And, not only did the basketball team perform excellently, they went undefeated and won the gold!”

Basketball has been a part of the Paralympic Games since 1960. Paralympics for athletes with physical disabilities are held every four years in conjunction with the Olympics. Though originally played only by men with spinal cord injuries, now both men’s and women’s teams throughout the world, with a variety of disabilities, compete in the sport.

Paralympic basketball competition is open to male and female athletes with physical disabilities such as amputation/limb loss, spinal cord injury/wheelchair-users, cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke and other orthopedic and locomotor disabilities. The sport is governed by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF).

Amateur Sports

Buffalo Athletic Trainer Travelled to 2016 Paralympic Games


Article reposted from UBnow

UB Director of Sports Medicine Brian Bratta saw firsthand the power of the performances at the 2016 Paralympic Games.

It reaffirmed something he already knew about para-athletes.

“They are just as determined, just as tenacious as competitors who are not disabled. The competition is intense,” says Bratta, one of two volunteer athletic trainers working with the U.S. para-swimming team at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.

“They are athletes in every sense of the word.”

Paralympic sport is high performance: After 10 days of competition, 396 Paralympic and 210 world records were broken during the 2016 Paralympics, which ran from Sept. 7-18.

This year’s Paralympics also set an attendance mark. On Sept. 10, the first Saturday of the games, a record 170,000 people were drawn to Barra Olympic Park — more than had attended even the busiest day of the Olympic Games.

The 2016 Paralympics was Bratta’s second as a volunteer athletic trainer for the U.S. para-swimmers. He also traveled with the team to the London Paralympics in 2012.

“The spirit of the athletes just stands out for me,” he says.

“There are athletes who are born with a disability and who decide early on ‘I am going to be an athlete and work my hardest,’ and they are some of the best athletes I have ever worked with.”

In addition to the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics, Bratta served as an athletic trainer for the U.S. para-swimming team for the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“Together with another athletic trainer, I have worked exclusively with the para-swimming team. For the 2016 Games, the whole team met in Houston and had a kind of pre-games camp. Then we travelled to Rio, to practice in the pools and acclimatize there.”

Both athletic trainers stayed with the U.S. para-swimmers for the entire 10-day meet. In addition, Bratta points out, the Paralympic Games provided a sports medicine clinic in the athletes’ village staffed with physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists who were available for all of the athletes.

“Mornings we did the preliminaries, left the Paralympic Village at 6:30 a.m. We did some treatments for the athletes if we had to, and then we were back for the finals every evening.

“We typically did not get back to the village until 9:30 or 10 o’clock every night, so it was a full plate, long days,” he says, adding that working with these athletes made it all worthwhile. “They are all phenomenal, hard-working athletes and being with them, working with them, was just an amazing experience.”

Volunteering for the USOC

Bratta’s interest in working with para-athletes began at Michigan State, where he earned an MS in athletic training in 2002. He started teaching and working as a clinical coordinator in the university’s Athletic Education Department in 2006, and worked exclusively with the Spartan baseball team from 2011-15.

“While I was working at Michigan State as a full-time staff member, there were many people in the athletics and sports medicine areas there — my mentors — who were volunteering with a number of the teams in the Olympic and Paralympic games,” Bratta recalls.

“People I worked with, who had had the opportunity to work multiple, different Olympic Games in France and California back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, told me it was a very positive, phenomenal experience for them.

“They passed it along to myself and a few others in athletic training, and said, ‘Hey, you really should look into doing this.’ It has been a great opportunity ever since.”

Bratta explains the U.S Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Program is structured to assess volunteers’ abilities and personalities.

“They want to see how you work with people,” he says. “Then the next step is where you get the opportunity to start traveling internationally — at the Pan American Games or World Games, for example. And the final step is where you get to work the Olympic Games or the Paralympic Games.”

Bratta came to UB in 2015 as director of sports medicine, with responsibilities for supervising the department and developing policies and guidelines, as well as working with UB’s student-athletes.

“I really enjoy doing that, having the chance to get to know our students, talk with them and help them to succeed athletically,” he says. “That is one of the things I don’t ever want to give up.”

Bratta also says he hopes to be able to continue working with para-athletes.

“It has been a very gratifying experience. You have the opportunity to meet — and work with — some amazing individuals who are also amazing athletes,” he says.

“Outside of competition, it is a little bit different because these are individuals who are very appreciative of the opportunities given to them. They are very appreciative of the help that has been afforded to them.

“I have gotten the chance to get to know many unique athletes who are all good people,” he says.

“And we do keep in touch with each other — Facebook is a wonderful thing. You never know who you are going to hear from — I frequently get texts, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’

Amateur Sports

Ithaca College club sports gain access to athletic trainers


Article reposted from The Ithacan

As of this semester, Ithaca College club sports teams have received access to athletic trainers, which were previously only available to varsity athletes.

Athletic trainers work with physicians to diagnose injuries, provide rehabilitation, oversee injury prevention and offer additional services, including ankle wrapping, icing and blood-pressure reading. They are now available for all club athletes on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Fitness Center. Trainers are also available before, during and after home games.

The clinic was brought to the college by the Cayuga Medical Center, which has been a longtime partner of the college. For many years, Cayuga Medical Center has staffed the Hammond Health Center with its own physicians and provided medical coverage for the college’s intercollegiate sports. Brad Buchanan, the assistant director of recreational sports at the college, approached Cayuga Medical Center about expanding medical coverage to club sports for this year.

Adrian Western, the practice manager of sports medicine and athletic performance at Cayuga Medical Center, said he and Buchanan saw a need to provide the best possible medical care to all the college’s athletes, regardless of their competition level.

“Ultimately, this partnership helps safeguard athletes from the potential negative consequences of injury and helps them to compete at the highest possible level,” Western said.

Junior athletic training major Jamie Albrecht, a member of the college’s women’s club soccer and club swim team, said there are many perks to having athletic trainers available to club athletes.

“Now we can get the treatment we couldn’t get before,” Albrecht said. “It shows how the focus on health is going up. Everyone I’ve talked to on different club teams loves it.”

The clinic can be especially helpful for teams with high impact and a high risk of injury, such as the rugby team.

Rugby player junior Kevin Zeosky said he imagines the clinic will help the team.

“We get a lot of injured players throughout the year and some of the injuries could be prevented before they get worse,” Zeosky said.

Volleyball club president Eric Finkelstein said the clinic helps the respective officers of the club feel more in control of an injury situation.

“Before, the options were to wait until the Health Center opened the next day, or go to the emergency room,” Finkelstein said.

Western said students have been very appreciative of the care that Cayuga Medical Center is providing and the fact that they have experts keeping student-athletes safe. The center is trying to get as much feedback as possible from the athletes and administration to see how the athletic training coverage can grow.

“Our hope is that we will be able to foster this relationship and expand services to meet the needs of the recreational student-athletes at Ithaca College,” Western said.