Today, in an effort to lend support to CPS athletes, the Chicago Bears and Athletico announced that they will provide professional athletic trainers to three of the District’s seven football stadiums this season, ensuring that student athletes who are injured during games receive the best possible care.
Chicago Bears Chairman George McCaskey joined Mark Kaufman, owner of Athletico, and CPS representative Gerod Sherley at Halas Hall to announce the new partnership.
“CPS is very excited to be partnering with the Chicago Bears and Athletico in this great program,” said Sherley. “Keeping our student athletes safe is among our top priorities, so we appreciate the steps these organizations are taking to help us carry out that mission.”
Athletic trainers will be on the sidelines at Gately, Hanson and Lane Stadiums, ready to facilitate immediate and proper care for athletes with acute injuries.”
“These locations were chosen because they host the majority of CPS home football games,” said Payten Gerjerts, Manager of Athletic Training Services for Athletico. “We hope to expand the program in the future so that we can assist players at all seven stadiums.”
This initiative is being funded by the Bears, with all trainers provided through Athletico, who will work to send the same trainers to CPS stadiums every week.
“Consistency often creates a higher level of care,” said Gerjerts. “If a trainer is seeing the same students every week, he will get to know them better and will be better able to meet their needs, especially in times of injury.”
The role of the athletic trainers will be to evaluate injuries in the moments after they happen, instructing the coaching staff on what actions should be taken.
“Whether its ice, rest, watching for signs of concussion, or taking the player off the field in an ambulance, it’s best to have these decisions made by a medical professional who is familiar with both the athlete and the facts surrounding sports-related injuries,” said Gerjets.
All trainers employed by Athletico must have an undergraduate degree in athletic training, and must be national board certified and licensed by the state of Illinois. As a way of maintaining the care that they provide on the field, Athletico will open its 70+ Chicago-area locations to student athletes who are injured during a game.
“If a player gets hurt during a game, he can come into any Athletico location in the days following for a complimentary injury screening,” said Gerjerts. “This is part of our overall goal of keeping student athlete’s safe and alleviating the anxiety that many players and their families feel about getting hurt on the field.”