Man, did we learn so much today. Our guest speaker was Christa Finney, Head Athletic Trainer for the Bryant School District. If anything was certain during her presentation it was that she is dedicated to providing the best experience for the athletes during this time and in the safest environment possible.
Christa mentioned how so many things had been pushed virtual that didn't stop her team from checking in with players. They adapted to telehealth sessions to check in with the players physical and emotional conditions. She said this was especially important with seniors who had their senior year cut short. Facebook also helped the teams stay connected.
In May, new directives for athletes were put in place. When this happened, Christa and her team walked off every venue they were playing at to determine how to meet the safety policies and procedures set in place. They even had a professional company come in to speak and train their staff about how to properly disinfect areas. Coaches and trainers had to rethink how to make PPEs work during games and practices and how to clean them properly since most procedures for cleaning equipment were changed.
"Things you never imagined in 1 million years," Christa said. "Those are the things we had to think about now. Now we are hyper-aware of it."
Another thing that you probably wouldn't have thought of but Christa and her team had to adjust to was getting waters to the athletes during practices and games. Normally, a large container would be used to refill all the water bottles. But, with new changes, at one point, athletes had to provide their own waters. Now, only managers are allowed to fill water bottles and have to carefully disinfect each one. The managers have to be wearing gloves and a mask, also.
In addition to re-thinking how to take care of athletes during a game, practices themselves had to creatively improvised on several occasions. Only athletes and sometimes parents were allowed in so many times, practices had to be streamed for other family members or friends to watch.
With all the challenges the team faced, Christa and her team at Bryant High School remained confident that they would take care of their athletes and that is exactly what they are doing!
(Photo from Saline County Lifestyles: http://salinecountylifestyles.com/notable/bryant-school-district-head-athletic-trainer-christa-finney/)