Marion County High School and athletic trainer Brittany Russell have been recognized as a Safe Sports School by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.
The award recognizes schools and athletic training staffs that have taken steps to keep their student-athletes injury free.
“There are many schools within our region that don’t have athletic trainers on staff,” Russell explained. “I’m trained and well-prepared in case there’s some type of injury [...] On a daily basis, I’m taping ankles, evaluating injuries -- just providing general medical care for athletes.”
For Russell, the award illustrates how a variety of staff members work together to ensure student-athlete safety.
“I think the biggest thing is it is a team effort” Russell said, noting that she regularly works with MCHS school nurse Mickie Lee, coaches, and administrators. “Everybody plays a vital role.”
To qualify for the Safe Sports award, schools must adhere to a list of required components, including providing services beyond physical well-being.
“When you build relationships with student-athletes they open up to you about things going on outside of their sport -- obviously, that’s what I’m there for too, to provide a lending ear,” Russell said.