Athletic relief just a sports trainer away

By Brooke Renfree

Sprained ankles, muscle strains, and fractures, just to name a few of the common, yet painful injuries typically associated with sports, that Bob Howell, the Director of Sports Medicine, and his twelve student athletic trainers (S.A.T’s) see on a daily basis.

In need of treatment? Look no further, relief is on the way.

Located on the southwest side of campus, many students remain largely unaware that Glendale is equipped with such a facility. “I just started taking volleyball classes, and I had no idea there was an athletic training room on campus,” sophomore Shelby Luffy said.

A free service to any student participating in one or more of the seventeen sports offered here at Glendale, little is lacking from the room that resembles a traditional physical therapy clinic. If anything, there is something here that can’t be found anywhere else. The added bonus of a friendly atmosphere, and the unmistakable bond between trainer and athlete.

S.A.T.’s include students Jennifer Chivers, Kim Dingman, Irene Gonzales, Jennifer Guerrette, Misty Johnson (Head Assistant), Sandee Mendez, Laci Sovenson, Jessica Stodgell, Bradley Tedder, Jessica Teel, Stephanie Wedlich, and Tim Yates. Michelle Jennings, also part of the training team, provides secretarial assistance to the front desk.

Often working together ten months of the year, Howell has likened the unit to “one big family.” Open five to six days a week, each trainer works three and a half days, while maintaining full academic loads.

“This has definitely been a good experience for me. I’ve been given the chance to interact with the athletes on both professional and friendship levels,” Gonzales, who hopes to one day become a certified athletic trainer, said.

Some of her daily tasks, as well as those of the other S.A.T.’s, include the preparation and set up of the room, scheduling future appointments, pulling charts, the operation of rehabilitation machinery, leading stretching exercises, and taping wounded players.

“The quality of care given to these athletes would be severely lacking without the student athletic trainers,” Howell has said.

The program, much like an internship, prepares students in training and works toward N.A.T.A. certification. Howell, who has been in education for 23 years and continues to teach several classes at GCC, has seen 17 of his former students go onto universities where they completed requirements and received certifications.

Both Howell and Johnson will begin conducting interviews next month at local high schools, Goldwater, Moon Valley, Peoria, Ironwood, and Cactus as part of a successful S.A.T. recruitment program. All five schools have shown previous, positive results from their own S.A.T. programs, and hope to further educate students by connecting with GCC. Applicants will be competing for one of five slots opening in the training room next fall.

Doors open to any athlete currently enrolled at GCC, at 11:00 a.m. and close at 6:00 p.m., though may vary according to sports season. Interested parties are encouraged to schedule an appointment in person or by phone at (623) 845-3711.

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