District to Vote on Year-Round Athletic Trainers

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In the wake of an incoming freshman’s tragic death on the football field earlier this summer, the Hillsborough (Fla.) County School District superintendent called for each of the district’s high schools to have a year-round athletic trainer.

Following a vote by the school board next week, that could become a reality.

WTSP reports that the school board is mulling a recommendation that would authorize $270,000 in spending from the Safety and Risk Management budget to cover the costs of year-round athletic trainers at each of the district’s high schools. Currently, according to district spokesperson Tanya Arja, only certain schools had athletic trainers, and typically they volunteered their time. 

The move comes following the June death of  Hezekiah Walters, who collapsed during a conditioning workout at Middleton High School and later died.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that the district is seeking to hire certified athletic trainers through the University of South Florida SMART Institute, Select Physical Therapy and PT Solutions Holdings LLC.

At the time of Walters’ death, no athletic trainer was present. He was reportedly participating in conditioning drills during an afternoon where temperatures were more than 90 degrees that included weightlifting, sprints and water breaks. A medical examiner found that Walters’ body temperature was 102 degrees at the time of his death.

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