Athletic trainers help area athletes stay safe and healthy

(Above) Athletic Trainer Joe Bedford works on Clear Lake volleyball player Kennadi Colbert before she steps on the court for practice. -Reporter photo by Chris Barragy.

by Michelle Watson

   Back to school is an exciting time for many students.  They are back to classes, reuniting with friends, and if you’re an athlete, heading back to practices and the excitement of competing.  Athletics, however, is not always all fun and games.  Every time an athlete takes the field or court, they put themselves at risk of an injury.

   Injuries in sports, especially football, have gained national attention in recent years.  Concerns about head and neck injuries, and rare fatalities have brought attention to the safety of the athletes.  As part of a state-wide effort, Clear Lake High School, along with the Iowa Athletic Trainers’ Society, are sponsoring a “Safety in Football Campaign.” The campaign’s goal, which runs through Saturday, Sept. 14, is to show why safety in athletics begins with having an athletic trainer.

    Joe Bedford, an athletic trainer at Athletico Physical Therapy, Clear Lake, is helping the community’s athletes to stay safe.  In addition to working at Athletico, Bedford is the coordinator of athletic training services for North Iowa and he is the certified athletic trainer for Clear Lake High School.

“I became an athletic trainer because I was looking for a career in medicine and I have always loved athletics and competition.  Once I found out what an athletic trainer was, it was a perfect mix of both,” said Bedford.  “I love being able to be a resource for athletes when they are hurting, to help them get better and achieve their personal and team goals.”

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