High contact sports need access to athletic trainers

Michelle Quinn

For years at Augie, cheerleading has been considered a high contact club sport. As a club sport, members of the cheerleading team have not been able to go to the athletic trainer if they have an injury.
It is understood that the athletic trainer is primarily for Varsity Intercollegiate sports teams. However, they are still allowed to provide services to other athletes if capacity and time allows.
While members of the cheer team, at times, have received services from the trainers, the majority of the time, if cheerleading is mentioned, the immediate response is “Oh, you’re a cheerleader? We can’t help you!” Cheerleading is a dangerous sport, and like any other sport, cheerleaders can get easily hurt.
Not too long ago members of the cheer team requested to get their wrists wrapped and were told “Just this once.”
When those members returned the trainers didn’t even take the time to wrap the girl’s wrists correctly. There was no pre-wrap, and it was so tight their thumbs were turning blue! If that had happened to a member of a Varsity Sport, it would not have been okay. So why is that appropriate for a non-varsity athlete?
Cheerleaders aren’t even allowed to get ice from the trainers. At the very least, it should be acceptable for members of high contact club sports to get ice.
Last year, cheerleader Amber Summers had injured her ankle and was forced to go to the emergency room for care.
“The emergency room was way out of the way…$300 was a lot of money to take into account in my budget,” Summers said.
This is not acceptable. All club sports should have access to the trainers. Not only is it inconvenient to be injured, but having to go off campus for a serious injury is troublesome.
Luckily, the Augie cheerleading team has a coach that is 100 percent dedicated to their well-being.
“I assure that I will continue to access and evaluate each injury a squad member may receive and personally escort them to the hospital or care facility for further evaluation if necessary” stated Augustana Cheerleading Head Coach Laura Terronez.
Up until this year, there was not much that could be done if the cheerleaders were injured. Recently, members from high contact club sports had the opportunity to get a concussion test and then download the Health Roster app.
Through this app, members are able to contact an off campus athletic trainer. This new discovery is a great asset for any club sport here at Augie.
Thank you Augustana for finally giving high contact club sports access to some medical help. But the change cannot stop there. This is simply only one step in the right direction.