Honoring National Athletic Training Month, the sports medicine department from Doctors Hospital shared their skills with high school students at Grovetown High School on Saturday.
“It’s an opportunity for us to celebrate our profession and also educate upcoming potential college students to see if they want to go into that field,” said John Ellis, sports medicine coordinator at Doctors Hospital.
Athletic trainers from the hospital’s sports medicine department attend high school sports at Grovetown, Evans, Aquinas, Burke County and Westside. They perform administrative work at the hospital, and then spend the rest of the day at their respective high schools.
More than 40 students came to Saturday’s athletic training clinic, representing schools across the region including South Carolina. The students were treated to a day of lectures and hands-on training.
The topics were new to some, while others already had experience assisting athletic trainers at their schools.
Greenbrier’s Ebony Upton is part of the school’s Med-Pack and was on the sidelines during football season.
“We help players who are injured,” the junior said. “We ice and bandage and tape. I look forward to learning more (today) to help out with my career in sports medicine.”
For some, learning specific techniques were important, while for others it was the entire scope that mattered.
“I liked the learning experience,” said Harlem junior soccer player Austin Kissinger, who said he would like to be a sports physical therapist.
Split into two groups, the students learned about muscles, joints and anatomy, then practiced taping and bandaging under the watchful eyes of the five athletic trainers.
The clinic finished with friendly competitions, including a timed ankle “tape-off” and a four-person tape relay.
“It went great,” said Grovetown athletic trainer Jessica Kirby. “It went so much better than I expected. We had such a good turnout, so many kids interested. It was really great.”