Group pushing for trainers at all Tennessee high school varsity football games by 2014

Associated Press • Jul 30, 2013 at 2:07 AM

NASHVILLE — A state sports trainers group wants all schools to have trainers at varsity football games by the 2014 season.

According to a story by The Tennessean, the value of having trainers is becoming more accepted, but the cost and the availability of trainers in rural areas pose problems.

The legislature approved a new youth sports concussion statute last session. There is growing awareness of the dangers of concussions, heat sickness and cardiovascular issues in young athletes.

Johnnie Anderson, director of sports medicine for Sumner County Schools, said a recent training session in his county demonstrated the need.

He said paramedics, who normally are on hand for football games, did not immediately know how to remove the player’s helmet.

“It’s that kind of experience and know-how that’s invaluable,” Anderson said. “An athletic trainer is specially trained to treat athletes from prevention through rehabilitation.”

But a recent survey by the Tennessee Athletic Trainers Society showed about 32 percent of the schools that are members of the TSSAA do not have trainers on staff.

The trainers group estimates an entry-level trainer’s salary at between $28,000 and $35,000 and the cost of hiring a trainer for one game at $100.

Information from The Tennessean

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