D211 Post: All District 211 Schools Recognized with Safe Sports School Award


             In all District 211 schools, dedicated teams of athletic trainers oversee the safety and well-being of every student involved in any athletic activity.  At each school, athletic trainers are required to not only address injuries sustained by student-athletes, but create plans and programs to prevent future injuries.  For this extensive work, every District 211 school has achieved the Safe Sports School Award from the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

            The award, which includes a three-year certification through the association, recognizes schools that must have met a total of 10 benchmarks, including creating and rehearsing venue specific emergency action plans, provide or facilitate psychological consultation and nutritional counseling, and education programs for athletes and parents about potential benefits and risks in sports.

            “This award is not so much for us, but for our parents,” said Hoffman Estates High School Athletic Trainer Greg Garofalo, who spearheaded the application process for all five District 211 schools.  “This lets them know, these are the measures that are taking place for your kids while they’re competing in athletics.”

            Garofalo said District 211 athletic trainers are responsible for more than simply treating sports injuries.

Hoffman Estates High School Athletic Trainer Greg Garofalo asists Jonathan Keller stretch his shoulder prior to the school’s baseball team practice.

            “We help with all the equipment fittings,” he said.  “We make sure that fit is appropriate, because improper fitting equipment can lead to injuries.

            Beyond treating injuries, each District 211 school offers injury prevention classes to teach athletes and students how they can best prevent non-contact injuries in their respective sports.

            National Athletic Trainers’ Association President Scott Sailor said the Safe Sports School Award recognizes the work and dedication of athletic trainers.

            “We remain committed to the health and welfare of young athletes in competitive sports,” said Sailor.  “This award recognizes the contributions and commitment of schools across the country that are implementing safe sports policies and best practices to ensure athletes can do what they love best and have appropriate care in place to prevent, manage and treat injuries should they occur.”

Schaumburg High School Athletic Trainer Mike DeVries checks the settings on the tens machine while working on softball player Ashleigh Felde’s arm.