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SPORTS MEDICINE: Four area teen girls get hands-on training at HMH camp (06/20)

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By Nathaniel Bryan

 

By NATHANIEL BRYAN nbryan@thenewsenterprise.com ELIZABETHTOWN Samantha Rivera and Hannah Huffines realize they could have spent the past few days at the pool or at the mall, working on adding to their tans or to their wardrobes. Instead, the teenagers spent Tuesday through Thursday at Hardin Memorial Hospital attending the hospital’s third annual student athletic trainer camp. “No one else is home, so no one was going to be able to take me anywhere,” said Rivera, a 16-year-old Elizabethtown High School junior. “This was a good place for me to be.” “This was far more productive,” said Huffines, a 16-year-old Meade County junior. Rivera and Huffines were two of the four attendees – the other two being 16-year-old Breckinridge County junior Megan Aldridge and 16-year-old Meade County junior Kelcie McCoy – who arrived at the hospital each morning to learn more about athletic training. For HMH certified athletic trainer Carol George, who oversaw the program along with Linda Watts — another HMH trainer — the size of the class was certainly not an issue. “We did have a small group, but they all wanted to be here. They all have an interest in athletic training,” said George, whose husband, Chris Mudd, is a trainer with the Philadelphia Phillies’ farm club in Reading, Pa. “With these girls, we were able to do more one-on-one and hands-on training.” The camp, which ran from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. for three consecutive days, covered topics including the athletic training career, basic anatomy, injury evaluations, taping and first aid. The girls had the opportunity to pick the minds of such HMH trainers as George, Watts and Eric Oliver as well as Mudd, a former Campbellsville University trainer, current Central Hardin trainer Scott Rouse and industrial trainer Curtis Baker, who attended Western Kentucky University with George. In addition to receiving a daily lunch, training textbook, training kit, T-shirt and daily prizes, all four girls became certified in CPR by the American Heart Association. “They’re not certified athletic trainers, but we did want to prepare them to be assets for their teams right now,” George said. The girls ended their camp by completing an obstacle course of rapid-fire training scenarios. After tending to a cut on an arm, each girl had to buddy-tape fingers (for instance, a dislocated or sprained finger), answer a question relating to sports medicine, put a foot in ice water for two minutes (since, according to George: “Don’t have an athlete do something you wouldn’t do yourself as a trainer”), tape wrists and hands, perform the Heimlich Maneuver on a choking victim, tape an ankle and ice down and wrap a softball or baseball pitcher’s shoulder. McCoy was the only camper not to complete the course in less than 11 minutes, but she proved to be thorough. Plus, speed wasn’t her reason for attending. “Carol helped me stretch before a game and she’s the one that got me interested in this because I want to go into something in sports and the medical field. I’ve learned a lot about athletic training and other fields like physical therapy,” said McCoy, who plays softball and volleyball for Meade County. “Getting close to these girls while doing this has been a lot of fun.” While it was fun, it still proved to be informative. Especially to Aldridge. “I learned more than I ever knew about training. Like that there is a wrong way to make an ice pack for one,” said Aldridge, who plays basketball and softball for Breckinridge County and plans on helping in a trainer’s role with the football team this fall. Rivera has served as a manager for the Elizabethtown football team since she was in the sixth grade. And the football boosters are helping her fund an overnight sports medicine camp at the University of Kentucky next week. The $125 price tag didn’t bother Rivera, and more importantly her financier father Jose, an assistant with Elizabethtown’s football team. “This has been a good experience. I’ve gotten to know three lovely girls and Carol and Linda have been great. We’ve had a lot of fun. It’s been real laid back, but we’ve learned about serious issues,” Rivera said. “It was a good deal. He didn’t complain about the price.” George said HMH wasn’t in it to make a monetary profit, but rather an educational one. “They were a good group to work with. We weren’t making anything off this, so we wanted to put as much back into the educational process as we could,” she said. “In high school, I didn’t have a trainer to look up to, to help me or to give me this type of knowledge.” Nathaniel Bryan can be reached at 505-1758