Jan 29, 2015
Covering Club Sports

On Thursday morning, Robert Huggins, LAT, ATC, Athletic Trainer for Club Sports at the University of Connecticut, will present a special topic session called “Athletic Training in Club Sports: Challenges and Concepts.” With the popularity of collegiate club sports increasing, the need for athletic trainers to cover them also rises–both for the athletes’ safety, and to reduce liability for the institution.
Huggins will discuss the challenges of integrating an athletic trainer into club sports, whether they are housed in the Student Activities, Health Services, Recreation Services, or Athletics department. “I’m going to talk about some of the challenges I dealt with while starting a program from scratch, at a relatively small, private university,” he says. “And then I’m going to compare and contrast that to my current situation at a large state institution. Even though I had a different starting point, there were a lot of things that I faced in terms of liability situations and informing and educating people about the role of an athletic trainer–including my boss.”

Since there is no governing body (such as the NCAA) for club sports, colleges and universities must handle club sport injuries and athlete safety on an individual basis. “In club sports, there are no standard guidelines for safety,” Huggins says. “There’s no model to follow, so if athletic trainers are currently working in the club sports setting, they have to use their own standards of care. I’m going to talk about the importance of having athletic trainers in club sports, to record injuries and publish research that will help create guidelines to care for these student-athletes.”

The presentation is designed for any athletic trainer who would like to learn more about an emerging field in the profession. It will be especially useful for athletic trainers who are currently in a collegiate setting, or for those who are considering going into that environment. To whet your appetite for the topic, you can read about the experience of Jennifer Chadburn, EdD, ATC, Head Athletic Trainer for Club Sports at Boston University, in the November 2010 issue of Training & Conditioning. You can find the article here. The special topic session, “Athletic Training in Club Sports: Challenges and Concepts,” is on Thursday morning from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

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