Athlete Trainers’ Association pushing for new measures to keep athletes safe and trainers better qualified

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — There’s a push from the New York State Athletic Trainers’ Association (NYSATA) to improve student-athlete safety.

Right now, athletic trainers only need a certification, which some members of the NYSATA say puts kids at risk of being treated by someone under-qualified.

The association is working to update a law that would allow trainers to become licensed medical professionals.

“We are the eyes on the field,” said Robert O’Malley, Head Athletic Trainer SUNY Cortland.

An athletic trainer is a child’s personal spotter. They’re on hand making sure kids are ready for his or her next stunt.

O’Malley is also a past president for the NYSATA, which is looking to raise the bar and level of safety.

Right now, you just need a Bachelor’s Degree to take the national board-certified exam, but by the end of 2022, you’ll need a Master’s Degree to sit for that exam.

The NYSATA is also lobbying to make athletic training a licensed profession. This would improve education and ultimately, the safety of the player.

“The new law the licensure puts us at the same level as other medical professions, doctors, nurses, lawyers,” said O’Malley.

O’Malley says it would give athletic trainers a little more time in school to learn exactly how to spot a problem before a player goes down, and how to treat them.

“There’s body language, there’s reactions people give off when they’re hurt,” said O’Malley. “We want our kids and future generations to have as much safe sports activity as possible.”

O’Malley says the Senate approved the bill, but it did not have enough time to be reviewed and voted on by the Assembly. It would have to be approved by the Higher Education in the Senate and Assembly before going to the governor’s desk.

For more local news, follow Nicole Sommavilla on Twitter @NeSommavilla

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