Support for Athletic Trainers in Secondary Schools

State Budget Crisis: Ensuring the Health and Safety of Youth Athletes

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School districts across the country are experiencing troubling budget cuts. Local school boards and school district superintendents will be forced to make some very difficult financial decisions in the coming months. Some school districts are considering cutting athletic training programs, viewing the athletic trainer as a “luxury item” they can no longer afford.

It is imperative that schools realize the importance of the health and safety of their student athletes when planning for their athletics program. The athletic trainer is not a luxury budget item. They are a schools’ main defense against the risk of catastrophic injuries to student athletes. It is our belief that if a school district has the funds to run an athletics program, it must have adequate health care for its athletes provided by an athletic trainer.

In the past few years, we have seen tragedies involving high school athletes and sudden cardiac arrest, heat related deaths, concussion and sickle-cell trait. Coaches and officials should not be expected to take on the risk of dealing with these potentially life-threatening events during high school competition.

Clearly these are difficult financial times but the safety and health of our athletes cannot be sacrificed. As Dr. James Glazer said, “… as your school's budget is being debated, think about this: When your son or daughter is at an away game, lying on a strange field in pain, frightened about an injury they just sustained, who do you want out there keeping them safe? In that situation, and in a thousand others all over Maine, there's no substitute for an athletic trainer.”

Please join us in the fight to save athletic training jobs, and quite possibly the lives of student athletes across the country, by signing our letter of support via the form below.