By Dalton Carver
Staff reporter

For the past ten years, the Athletic Training department has celebrated March as National Athletic Training Month. Previous efforts to mark the occasion have included ankle taping contests, advertising around the Winfield community and other activities to get students interacting with athletic trainers. However, the department decided to do something a bit different this year.

Laken Campbell and Tiffany Rodgers, both athletic training seniors, came up with the idea of sponsoring an athletic training relay race. Instead of a presentation format, Campbell and Rodgers want something more interactive.

“The idea is part of our senior project we have to do for our seminar class,” said Campbell. “We have to promote athletic training month, so we want to do something to get others involved.”

“We were trying to brainstorm some ideas we could do to help promote the profession and they wanted to do something a little bit different,” said Lisa Braun, Director of Athletic Training Education. “I could actually see this as something we do annually if we have enough people get into it.”

Unlike a traditional relay race, this iteration will have some athletic training twists. “There will be four people in a group,” said Campbell. “They’re going to do different activities, such as their best attempt at taping an ankle.” Crutch races and quiz questions will also have to be overcome by relay competitors.

Included with the reward of athletic training knowledge is the chance to win prizes, including department t-shirts, water bottles, and maybe even gift certificates to Sonic or Wendy’s.

The department isn’t sending the invitation to just athletes. Posters and advertising are around campus inviting all who are interested. “I’ve encouraged them to really reach out to people other than just athletics,” said Braun. “I think a faculty team would be fun.”

“We’re hoping for eight teams,” said Campbell.  “So often we get stuck in ‘We’re athletic trainers, we deal with athletes,’ but we’re trying to get a team from the education department, the music department or the theatre department.”

However, National Athletic Training Month doesn’t end there. The Southwestern College Athletic Training Society has more planned for March. “Laken and Tiffany are also going to talk to a couple of high schools in the area,” said Braun.  “They’ll talk to some students in health careers who might be interested in our profession and how they might go about becoming an athletic trainer.”

“We encourage all our athletic trainers, no matter what the work setting, to promote the profession,” said Braun.”They come up with great ideas and do a ton of different things to educate the public about what we do and understand our responsibilities.”

The relay race will take place March 12 on the grass soccer fields. The starter’s gun is set to go off at 7 p.m., and all students and faculty are encouraged to participate.

Dalton Carver is a sophomore majoring in communication. You can email him at dalton.carver@sckans.edu or tweet him @dalty_james.