This year, the American College of Sports Medicine is casting a wide net to prevent injuries by highlighting the role of the trainer. The job is about a lot more than rushing in with a roll of tape and scissors when a player is down on the field. Trainers may be the difference between a quick recovery and unnecessarily prolonged injury for young athletes.

Last year the College was among the organizations that took a hard look at the rate of concussion in high school sports in Alaska. Its efforts eventually led to state legislation requiring a thorough evaluation of any athlete suffering from a concussion, before allowing a return to play.

Sitka physician Don Lehmann is one of two Alaska doctors who are fellows of the American College of Sports Medicine. Rod Walters is a Doctor of Arts who served as the director of Sports Medicine at the University of South Carolina for seventeen years. Walters is on a College-sponsored speakers’ tour of Alaska, trying to help coaches and doctors bridge the gap created by the widespread absence of trainers in secondary sports programs.

The two stopped by KCAW to talk about issue.
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Don Lehmann is a doctor in Sitka and a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. Rod Walters was inducted into the Athletic Trainers Hall of Fame in 2005.

Walters will give a presentation this evening (Monday 4-23-12) at 6 PM in the Sitka High School Library on upper extremity injury prevention and management. He’ll speak Wednesday evening (4-24-12) at the Gil Truitt Activities Center at Mt. Edgecumbe High School on lower extremity injury prevention. His tour will conclude later this week in Ketchikan.

Listen to extended audio of this interview.