Jackets’ trainers nationally recognized

mbanks@comporium.netJuly 24, 2013 

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Jackets’ trainers nationally recognized

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The training staff at Fort Mill High, made up of Ben Merritt and Katie Runyon, was recently recognized from the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) as a Safe Sports School.

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When it comes to safety in the workplace for athletes, Fort Mill High is among tops in the nation.

The training staff at Fort Mill High, made up of Ben Merritt and Katie Runyon, was recently recognized from the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) as a Safe Sports School.

The recognition is just one of 41 given out across the country so far and only the second in South Carolina. The only other school in the state to have been recognized is St. James High in Murrells Inlet.

The program was launched to recognize high schools around the country that provide safe environments for student athletes. The award is the first of its kind by the NATA.

To get the award, Fort Mill had to meet criteria like providing physical exams, promoting safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities, maintaining athletic equipment, developing injury and illness prevention strategies and establishing protocols, creating emergency action plans and providing psychosocial consultations and nutritional counseling.

“A lot of these things we were already doing,” Runyon said. “We just had to fill out the paperwork. This just lets people know if they come to Fort Mill, they are taken care of.”

While most high schools in the state have athletic trainers, it’s not mandatory for schools to have them.

Principal Dee Christopher said being recognized nationally should make parents, students and visitors feel safe when they come to the school.

“I’m pleased to be recognized as a school that makes safety a priority,” he said. “We take athletes’ safety and health seriously. With all the attention in sports regarding injuries like concussions, to be recognized as a school that is going above and beyond should put trust in our families.”

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