Walk into the training room after school, and one is bound to see students nursing bruises, sprains and an assortment of other injuries. Despite the number of injured athletes at Paly, there is only one athletic trainer: Justine Iongi.
The Campanile thinks that in order to better support our large student athlete population, administration and the District ought to allot funding to hire more athletic training staff. Currently, according to Brian Arakaki, volunteer athletic trainer, the athletics department has to support around 700 students per season, and is on the verge of entering the spring season. With track and field, badminton, lacrosse, boys tennis, swimming and diving, the spring season attracts a large contingent of student athletes.
During the winter season, the training room was still understaffed despite the presence of a graduate student from San Jose State University who assisted Iongi. However, according to Arakaki, the student was transferred out of the program and has not been replaced.
It is not sustainable to plan all of Paly Athletics around the availability of one staff member.
Furthermore, according to Arakaki, the athletic training department is currently not able to attend all Paly games. Given how spread out the multiple fields and tracks on Paly’s campus are, attendance from an athletic trainer can only be guaranteed at the riskiest and most potentially dangerous games, leaving every other Paly athlete at risk of not receiving timely treatment for their injuries.
Other schools that can make do with just one trainer, according to Arakaki, tend to have smaller student athlete populations and are less athletically competitive.
Though one solution might be to re-introduce graduate students, multiple students have had bad experiences with these trainers and have not received the quality of care they need to return to their sport. Though more athletic training staff is an necessity, underqualified staff either fail to help student athletes or actively make their problems worse. The Campanile strongly urges the district to allot funding for the hiring of more athletic training staff, so as to better support the needs of our athletes.