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Excelsior kicks off Victorville sports medicine academy
VICTORVILLE • What began as a club of four students meeting together at basketball games has grown into a full-fledged sports medicine academy at Excelsior Charter School in Victorville.
“This is a very, very popular program for kids this age,” Chris Fore, athletic director at Excelsior, said. “We saw a demand for it, we surveyed the kids, created a curriculum and got it formally approved. We had 30 spots available and all 30 were taken.”
The sports medicine academy, which began in January, is an elective course that prepares students for college and careers in sports medicine and physical therapy, Fore said. The elective course also trains students to help treat Excelsior student-athletes.
“My vision for the program is to offer four or five sports medicine electives a day,” Fore said. “I want to create a certificate for sports medicine so students are automatically accepted into colleges with sports medicine programs.”
Joseph Morris, director of Nursing and Allied Health at Victor Valley College, said he thinks the future is bright regarding sports medicine and colleges, such as VVC, would be more inclined to accept students with certificates in sports medicine.
“It offers students the ability to bridge off into the other areas of health careers or they can continue along that channel to further their education in sports medicine,” Morris said. “It’s very unique. There’s no other program like that in the High Desert at the high school level.”
The curriculum was stitched together from the “best of the best” of other sports medicine academies across the county, according to Mike Dickinson, the newly appointed head softball coach and developer of the sports medicine curriculum. Topics of study will include anatomy and physiology, first responder training, CPR, injury taping and rehab techniques, and how to identify and prevent injuries.
“We’re teaching the kids to understand that every athlete is different, and that the goal of an athletic trainer is to prevent injuries, and after an injury does occur how to get that athlete back into playing as soon — and as safely — as possible,” Dickinson said.
Danielle Hendrix, a local resident who traveled to London for the 2012 Olympics to work as a massage therapist for Team USA, said this kind of program also introduces students to career options they wouldn’t otherwise know about until they went to college.
Hendrix said she went to college to become a journalist but shifted gears halfway through and pursued physical therapy instead. Hendrix said if a program like this was available when she went to high school, she may have known earlier what she wanted to do. “This program will expose them to acute immediate injuries and if that’s something they don’t like they will find that out, too,” Hendrix said.
Lynnea Lombardo may be reached at (760) 951-6232 or at LLombardo@VVDailyPress.com.
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