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Greenburgh Considers Adding Athletic Trainer

GREENBURGH, N.Y. – There may be a new face on the sidelines of Woodlands athletic events next season.

High School Athletic Director Matt Smith recommended Tuesday the Greenburgh Central 7 school district retain the services of an athletic trainer, in part due to stricter concussion regulations coming down from the state this summer.

The goal, Smith said, would be to have the trainer on the sidelines next school year.

“They really help out any athletic program,” Smith told the board during its work session.

Signed into law last year, the Concussion Management Awareness Act will go into effect July 1, providing tougher restrictions as to when student-athletes can return to the field after sustaining a concussion. Having an athletic trainer at the high school would help to ensure the district remains in compliance with the new state standards, Smith said.

“It’s going to be something that we have to be on top of,” he said.

The athletic director also noted that while state law mandates a doctor must be on the sidelines for all football games, there is no such requirement for any other sport. And with no athletic trainer at the high school, Woodlands athletes often depend on other school’s trainers to diagnose their injury during a game, he said.

Sometimes it is even up to the coach to identify the seriousness of an injury.

“To ask a coach to recognize a break or a sprain is a lot to ask,” Smith said.

If brought into Woodlands, the trainer would attend home games and occasionally travel with a team to away games, Smith said. The board of education agreed to explore the idea.

“I feel we are putting the students at risk and I don’t think they shouldn’t have the proper personnel there,” Trustee Cora Carey said.

According to Assistant Superintendent Ed Joseph, the district has $40,000 in its 2012-2013 budget that could be used to fund the position.  The individual hired would likely be independently contracted and would not an employee of the district, administrators said.

Whether the trainer would be full or part-time remains to be seen, but Smith said he was confident he could land a full-time trainer with the money the district has available.

“A full-time trainer would be best for the kids,” he said.

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