ATHLETIC TRAINING MONTH: Pitt Co. Athletic Director, Ron Butler, discusses benefits his schools have gained from hiring LAT personnel

The month of March is National Athletic Training Month as promoted by the National Athletic Trainers' Association to spread awareness about the important work of athletic trainers. During the month of March, we'll spotlight Licensed Athletic Trainers across the state, asking them why they participate in education-based athletics as a trainer. We will also talk to Athletic Directors from around the state to describe the impact that having Licensed Athletic Trainers in their schools has had on their students and families.

Our next feature is a letter from Pitt County Athletic Director and former member of the NCHSAA Board of Directors, Ron Butler. He describes the moments that helped him and his colleagues understand the value Licensed Athletic Trainers are able to provide to schools and school districts.

September 19, 2008 J.H. Rose Tailback Jaquan Waller is tackled quickly after receiving the handoff. 

In March 2009, while attending the NCADA Conference in Wilmington NC, I visited a presentation given by Dr. Sharon Rogers Moore concerning concussions and the value of athletic trainers.

In September 2009 I was watching a football game when an athlete took a blow to his chest and was struggling to breathe. I ran and assisted the struggling athlete and after a short time he was fine. I was not fine; I was frightened to know I was the most medically qualified person on that sideline! Dr. Sharon Rogers Moore’s words about the value of an athletic trainer kept replaying in my head. Adding a health care professional seemed like an even better idea now. Thanks to ECU and Dr. Moore, Pitt County Schools added an athletic trainer at each high school the following year!

The benefit of adding athletic trainers has far surpassed expectations. Athletic trainers not only diagnose and treat injuries; they also help prevent some sports injuries.  We added athletic trainers for safety and the financial benefit to schools and parents due to prevention and proper diagnosis was a bonus.

Athletic trainers also provide additional peace of mind handling heat related issues. Athletes are safer because athletic trainers monitor hydration and heat indexes. Thank you Dr. Sharon Rogers Moore; due to your hard work Pitt County Schools is proud to have athletic trainers.

This September, Pitt County Schools will hold ceremonies and moments of silence remembering the tragic death of Jaquan Waller 10 years ago, a poignant reminder of why we have athletic trainers.