Enquirer Herald

Clover High training program receives national award

Clover High School has received the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School award.

The award recognizes secondary schools that provide safe environments for student athletes. It reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment.

“Clover High School is honored to receive this first team recognition from NATA,” said Kim Bressler, head athletic trainer. “We remain committed to keeping our student athletes safe during team practices and games so they can accomplish their own goals of great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship and good health.

“Our goal is to lead our athletics program to the highest safety standards for our players,” she said.

Matt Bressler, Kim’s husband, is also an instructor in the CHS athletic training program.

CHS Athletic Director Carroll Hester praised the school’s training program for its contributions to the well-being of all student athletes.

“Kim and Matt do a great job,” said Hester. “This recognition says a lot about the job they do in athletic training.”

Hester said there are more than 34 teams practicing year-round.

“It’s such a demand on our trainers,” he said. “They spend so much time up there and rarely get a day off. When somebody’s not playing, they’re still treating injuries and rehabbing people.”

Physical activity is very important for youths, according to NATA President Jim Thornton; however, “there has been an increase in competitive sports, which, unfortunately, are not without risk,” he said.

Brain injury/concussion, cardiac arrest, heat illness, cervical spine fractures and other injuries and illnesses are potentially life-threatening, he said.

“Proper planning with proper equipment and personnel is vital to the safety of student athletes today,” Thornton said.

In order to achieve Safe Sport School status, athletic programs must do the following:

▪  Create a positive athletic health care administrative system.

▪  Provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations.

▪  Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities.

▪  Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment

▪  Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes.

▪  Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions.

▪  Provide and facilitate injury intervention.

▪  Create and rehearse a venue-specific emergency action plan.

▪  Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education.

▪  Be sure athletes and parents are educated of the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities.

An athletic trainer specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of muscle and bone injuries and illnesses, and is educated in emergency care for catastrophic injuries such as spinal cord injuries, sudden cardiac arrest, heat illness and concussions.

Working under the direction of a physician, and with other healthcare providers, athletic trainers are recognized as allied health professionals by the American Medical Association and must meet the qualifications set by a state regulatory board and the Board of Certification Inc.