Where are the athletic trainers?

Ever since I moved to Los Angeles, I’ve been amazed by the lack of athletic trainers at high school basketball games here – boys or girls. I don’t understand it, and maybe someone can explain it to me.

Within the Seattle School District, where I used to work, an athletic trainer from a local hospital is assigned to each high school. Wherever and whenever that school’s team has a game, there’s the trainer.

No such luck in the Los Angeles Unified School District and surrounding public school districts. During games, there’s not a trainer in sight. When a girl goes down with an injury, the coaches usually just stroll on to the court – sometimes after several seconds. And if it’s a male coach, he just stands and stares. Maybe they don’t know what to do, or don’t want to get their pants dirty kneeling down, but an assistant coach and a parent are usually the ones to come to the player’s aid and help her off the court.

Even if there’s not a game injury, players could really use a trainer. They are forever hitting up assistants for tape, pre-wrap, ice, icy hot and a bunch of other things. What gives?

School districts aren’t rich, of course, but they should be able to be more creative. With the tremendous amount of colleges and junior colleges in the LA area, why don’t districts use athletic trainer interns? How about starting a parent-community volunteer program to provide trainer supplies?

The second-biggest city in the country, and people can’t even care for their athletic kids unless they go to a private school or live in a well-off area. What a disappointment.