WC Athletic Trainers working to get student-athletes back on the field

By Lauren Zedlar

Elm Staff Writer

During this uncertain time, many aspects of college life have been adjusted and changed. Classes are now remote and due to the pandemic all sports have been cancelled until Jan. 1, 2021 by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. 

This has created a lot of obstacles for all individuals in the athletic department. 

There has been effort from all sides of athletics to implement plans to return student-athletes safely to campus, including by training staff. The trainers have not been able to give direct help to students yet, but hope to soon by appointment. 

Although there has not been a chance for the Washington College trainers to properly offer their services, there has been a lot of actions behind the scenes. They have been dutifully working with health services and the athletic department to try and get students back practicing according to proper NCAA procedure. 

To do this, new policies will be enforced, including temperature checks, sanitation of equipment and sporting areas, and the proper isolation plans for student-athletes and staff. 

“The pandemic has definitely changed and will continue to change how we do things in the training room here on out,” said Matt An, WC’s head athletic trainer. 

The sports medicine team’s goal is to have some organized fall practices on campus with the first priority of safety. 

This past week, all student-athletes in Chestertown were required to take COVID-19 and concussion tests.

Student-athletes scheduled time to visit the Health Center to receive their test while social-distancing. This was a requirement if student-athletes would like to participate in small-group workouts or team practices in the near future. 

The concussion tests were run by the other WC athletic trainers. This is a requirement of all athletes every year. While this test is generally performed on a computer, this year it was performed in-person with all participants at least 6-feet apart. 

Student-athletes were tested on their memory, reaction time, and asked questions about concussion symptoms. 

“I think that we are definitely trending in the right direction and think that we will be having those practices soon even if they will look different than other fall seasons in years past before the pandemic,” said An. 

Hopefully with new policies and health regulations, student-athletes will be able to return to campus and practice again soon, especially with the help of the athletic training department. 

The practice decision will ultimately be decided for each university by the NCAA, but our athletic department is optimistic of this outcome and taking proper measures to be ready. 

Sports have been missed by many athletes, coaches, trainers, and staff alike and will hopefully return to normalcy soon. 

“The Sports Medicine Staff at Washington College misses working with everyone,” said An. “We are making adjustments and doing the best that we can just like we know you guys are.”

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