Think back to CB football games right before kickoff. Maybe you see turf, players on the sidelines, stressed coaches wearing giant headphones, speakers playing hype music, cheerleaders warming up. What you may not have noticed are the red polo and khaki-clad athletic trainers taping wrists at the last minute or filling up water bottles for […]
Think back to CB football games right before kickoff. Maybe you see turf, players on the sidelines, stressed coaches wearing giant headphones, speakers playing hype music, cheerleaders warming up. What you may not have noticed are the red polo and khaki-clad athletic trainers taping wrists at the last minute or filling up water bottles for the players.
What you may not know is that athletic training wasn’t just about the games. Members of the Sports Med team were obligated to spend an hour a day after school in the athletic training room where they would learn about the human body and how to treat various injuries.
Learning skills such as wrist and thumb taping took many weeks of dedicated practice before they could be performed on an athlete. Supervising and teaching these skills was the job of three Certified Athletic Trainers.
Game days weren’t just about standing around with water, either, although that did take up majority of the trainer’s time. Sports Med team members came to games over an hour early to fill up water jugs and water bottles, tape up athletes, and ensure that the medical equipment was up to par. During games, they had the important job of keeping an eye out for potential injuries as well as making sure the athletes were hydrated.
Unfortunately, the Student Athletic Training program has been under a forced hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions. Many sports teams were not even allowed to practice together until January let alone have athletic training staff on hand.
Alyssa Angulo (’21) started out on the sports medicine team as a freshman and was very disappointed to see it paused. “My favorite part was the learning experience that I gained as well as the friendships and bonds that I had the pleasure to make.”
In the spirit of full transparency, I was a member of the Sports Medicine team for my first two years at CB. Sports Medicine was a team of students and trainers who had genuine, dedicated concern for the wellbeing of athletes, and we got extremely close between football games and spending every day in the training room together. I am very eager to get back in the training room to knock the rust off my taping skills.
But according to current California Department of Public Health restrictions, there is to be “no sharing of drink bottles and other personal items and equipment” in addition to “at least six feet of distance between sport participants and others to the maximum extent possible, including when on the sidelines.”
It’s pretty clear that having student athletic trainers on the field violates these guidelines, and the small size and low ventilation of the training room is not ideal for social distancing. Athletic Director Mr. Dale Milton says that the safety of the athletic training room was the main concern when deciding what was to come of the program.
“That room is not very big, so having kids in there with other kids, not a lot of ventilation, if we had an outbreak — that would take the whole team down.”
But as vaccines start to roll out and cases in California drop, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting a little brighter.
“Hopefully if the restrictions are better we’ll bring it back and it’ll be the same way it was before,” Mr. Milton says, adding that he is leaving future plans to the new trainer Ms. Nica Santiago-Jordan
I talked to Ms. Santiago-Jordan, who said that for now she’s only part-time, but if that changes, she will be able to get the sports med student team up and running again. She also mentioned that the future of sports med may include an actual class, instead of just time in the training room, which sounds very exciting.
CB Principal Ms. Annemarie Bacich assured the members of last year’s Sports Medicine Program via a March email that the administration is concerned with the return of the program.
“We know the value of this program in the lives of our student athletic trainers and our student-athletes and are committed to bringing it back as soon as regulations and safety conditions permit,” she said in the e-mail.
Alyssa says she hopes the program will be able to continue in the future, despite not being able to be a part of it. “It would be highly disappointing to see a program that took over a decade to build from the ground up with hard work be lost.”