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Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

Sports medicine program expands opportunities to freshman

Get an insight into what the sport medicine program offers for students pursuing the field.
Photo courtesy of Victoria Vidales
Athletic trainer Victoria Vidales wraps an ankle.

It is no unfamiliar sight to athletic trainer Victoria Vidales and her sports medicine students as the rush hour of sixth period student-athletes flood the Bob Ito clinic in the Y building.

With 15 sports available on campus, a huge part of the student body is formed by student-athletes. In competitive sports, injuries are inevitable. The sports medicine program prides itself on helping rehabilitate injured athletes back to health so they are ready to return to their sport and play the game they know. The pathway has recently become available to freshmen students this year, opening more opportunities. Vidales, being a first year teacher at Walnut seen the impact this change had on students and their interest in athletic training.

“People are becoming more aware of what an athletic trainer does and their purpose. It’s awesome we opened [our program] to freshmen, during the open house kids coming up to me and knowing they want to pursue athletic training,” Vidales said. “It’s a good opportunity for them to do the program and be ahead of everyone else. They get to try it and use their high school time to figure out if they want to pursue [athletic training] rather than in college.”

The program provides opportunities for students to work with graduate students who are achieving their masters degree in athletic training, lab applications and after school hours to help rehabilitate athletes. The CTE speaker series is another opportunity that plays an instrumental role in providing sports medicine students with information and insight from professionals pursuing careers in athletic training.

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“We are trying to build the bridge between the professionals and the students to give them opportunities to ask questions and learn more about what they want to do,” Vidales said. “We want to give them more knowledge and the ability to feel inspired so they know what route they are taking and potentially if they want to pursue sports medicine.”

Vidales first had her sights set on becoming a physical therapist, earning her bachelor’s degree in pre-physical therapy. Her interest piqued in athletic training after working with mentor athletic trainers, mirroring one of the opportunities her sports medicine students are currently offered today in her class. Vidales later earned her master’s degree in athletic training from Cal Baptist University. Previously being a student-athlete herself and facing the obstacle of an injury, Vidales’ personal experience dealing with an ankle sprain also sparked her interest in the practice of athletic training.

“I was on the soccer team in high school and had an ankle sprain. The athletic trainer [at the time]helped rehab me from day one of injury to when I was back on the field. I was so interested in how we were [rehabilitating] the muscles, controlling swelling and the pain; all of that was just mind blowing to me,” Vidales said. “We talked a lot about muscles [and] bones. It opened my eyes to how the human body heals, how to take care of it and how to examine it.”

With the opportunity to provide the guidance needed to enable her students’ success, Vidales hopes to inspire her own sports medicine students the same interest she once had as a student herself. By keeping lessons hands-on, teaching medical procedures and supporting her students and teaching them how to support others play a pivotal part in the classroom. To Vidales, the willingness to learn and the ability to retain information are the most important aspects of athletic training.

“When I was a student, my teacher kept it interesting for us. I also want to pique their interest and keep them involved. I hope that [my sports medicine students can]  take away from this class knowing a little bit more about their bodies and muscles. For my athletes to know how to take care of themselves [and their health],” Vidales said. “I find that if I create an open and positive environment, I’ll be able to build a stronger rapport with my students and athletes because I’m here to keep you healthy and safe. That’s my job.”

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Ava Kaleah David
Ava Kaleah David, Staff writer
Hi! My name is Ava Kaleah David, and I am a ninth grade staff writer for The Hoofprint. Outside of The Hoofprint, I am on the girl's frosh volleyball team. I love quality time with family and friends, Hawaii, photography, my dog Mochi, and listening to music (especially Taylor Swift)!
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