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Summer workshop teaches kids about athletic training

  |   Kristen B. Morales   |   Permalink   |   Spotlight

High school students who are interested in a career in athletic training can get a taste this summer during the 17th annual Athletic Training Student Workshop offered by the University of Georgia College of Education's kinesiology department.

Students can work with world-renowned researchers and top graduate students during this multi-day intensive program. Teens get a chance to work in labs in UGA's Ramsey Student Center for Physical Activities and learn basic skills and techniques used in sports medicine.

"We do a little bit of everything," said Cathy Brown, professor and workshop organizer. "We try to give them a taste of what it would be like in the profession."

Students will learn about evaluations, heat-related illness and concussions, plus practice techniques such as using a spineboard, measuring blood pressure and heart rate, and taping wrists, ankles and knees.

The three-day workshop takes place June 15-17 and is open to rising ninth- through 12th-graders. The workshop is $340 for residential students (includes room, all meals, course materials and T-shirt) and $300 for commuter students (includes meals, course materials and T-shirt; $5 parking per day must be arranged in advance). For details or a registration form, call Emily Pearson at 706-542-4230. The registration deadline is June. 1.

Brown said some students take the workshop because they know they want to work with athletes as part of their career, while others are simply interested in the skills and want to learn more. And some students arrive from high schools with established athletic programs that incorporate students into their athletic training, and this workshop is a way for those students to gain even more expertise.

That was the case for Olivia Hale, who attended the workshop several years ago as a student at Blessed Trinity High School in Roswell. Her school had an athletic trainer, and she was interested in pursuing that as a career. She attended the Athletic Training Student Workshop and later attended UGA with the goal of becoming an athletic trainer.

"It was a pretty cool opportunity and you get an early exposure to it," she said. "Going into college, I knew what program I wanted to go into."

Hale ended up receiving a bachelor's degree in athletic training, and is now pursuing her master's in sports medicine at the University of Utah.

The athletic training world is small enough, added Brown, that even if a student doesn't continue on to UGA, the connections they make will help out in their career down the road.

"It's fun to see them spark their interests and turn that into a career," Brown said. "This is a great chance to try a major and a campus, and have a chance to be a college student over the summer."

Hale said she was able to start college knowing what courses she needed to take, so that when it came time to apply for a degree program in her sophomore year, she was sure what she wanted to do — and was well on her way.

"I think it's a really great opportunity to get some insight into how future classes in athletic training will be like, and to get a little more knowledge than what (students) are getting at the high school level," said Hale. "It's a good opportunity to get experience in things like modalities and rehabilitation practices, and it's good preparation for your future."

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