By Brianna Gleghorn
Local high school students will be wrapping ankles and practice bracing at a new camp hosted by the Master of Athletic Training program at Youngstown State University.
The Diversity Enhancement Grant from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee provided the program with funds to start an athletic training camp for high school students, educating them on why an athletic trainer on the sidelines is a necessity.
The grant was given to the Master of Athletic Training program to promote ethnic diversity in the field and create an initiative to bring more high school students to YSU’s campus.
Morgan Bagley, program director for the athletic training program, said the goal of the camp is to bring awareness of the profession to high school students.
“Our profession is young in the world of health care,” Bagley said. “Our goal is to take this grant to the local high schools and, although we’re a master’s program, show them that they can still learn about athletic training.”
Bagley said because athletic training is a new profession in the sports medicine realm, people don’t realize what athletic trainers do on a daily basis.
“We are more than just people with water on the sidelines,” she said.
Bagley wants to bring “new growth to the program and to educate high school students.”
The students will spend the afternoon learning how to examine an injury, what treatment is needed and whether it warrants a brace or a trip to the hospital.
Along with learning about athletic training, the students will receive a free T-shirt, a Gatorade beverage, CPR certification, a campus tour and the opportunity to meet YSU President Jim Tressel.
The students will earn a free YSU football ticket and also work with first-year graduate students on the sidelines of a YSU football game.
Bagley said in each quarter, four students will follow the athletic trainer on the sidelines while the rest are given time to enjoy the game.
“When they’re not on the sidelines, they’ll be able to go to the game, get a hot dog and see from the stands what we do on the sidelines,” she said.
The program works closely with the Youngstown City School District, where YSU alumni work at local high schools as athletic trainers and second-year graduate students work with the trainers as graduate assistants.
Erin Pavick, a second-year athletic training graduate student, is looking forward to the camps and educating students about what it takes to make it in the industry.
“I think it’s important for high school students; not even just those who are interested in athletic training, but for everyone else as well,” Pavick said. “For those interested, they can see what it’s like and get a little hands-on experience and learn some new skills.”
Jessica Gavin, an athletic trainer at Chaney High School, said this is an opportunity for students to know what an athletic trainer does and potentially see it as a career.
“The camps are to advocate for the athletic training profession,” Gavin said. “I think that it’s just a great way to get the younger population involved and to actually learn what the profession is.”
The first camp will begin on Sept. 28 with another session planned for the spring semester.