Athletic trainers return to Pasco schools' sports fields

By Leah Masuda, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, August 14, 2017, 7:34 AM EDT

Earlier this summer, the Pasco County School District was without athletic trainers after budget concerns. Fortunately, for athletes and families, it was short-lived.

  • Pasco County found the money for athletic trainers
  • Trainers help with school athlete care on the sidelines
  • Trainers will work at all 14 high schools

When you play tough, having an athletic trainer is key.

“It gives the coaches a peace of mind, it gives the parents peace of mind, that they have that medical professional on the sidelines," said Matthew Wicks, program director for Athletics, P.E. and Drivers ED.

Earlier this summer, there was concern the district might not have athletic trainers at its 14 high schools after its relationship with Florida Hospitals ended over budget concerns.

“I will tell you any day of the week, if I have to choose between teachers in classrooms or athletic trainers, I’m going to go with teachers every day, any day," said Superintendent Kurt Browning.

The district was facing a deficit earlier this summer, but Browning searched for ways to get the program back.

“We were able to fund the athletic trainers, make the cuts to the district office positions amongst other things, and still fully fund what our district needs to operate for another year," said Browning.

The district contracted with PT Solutions and trainers are already on the field.

“They're not just giving out Band-Aids, they're diagnosing knee injuries, they're making doctor’s appointments, they're communication with parents, it's a huge piece," said Wicks.

This school year will be the sixth year the district has had trainers at all of its high schools. The trainers work 35 hours a week for all sports, as well as weekend events.