Athletic trainers: In the background but watching

From weekend warriors to professional athletes, athletic trainers provide insight, guidance and encouragement.

By: Scott Seiler .

Athletic trainers work with athletes to reduce injury.
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Kathy Stompro became interested in an athletic trainer career because of her love for sports and competition. With 30 years of experience, 25 being at Sanford, the role of athletic trainers has evolved.

“The athletic training program was just getting started when I was at NDSU,” said Kathy. “It has expanded quite a bit since the early years. We’re now not only working with athletes in the traditional settings but also industry, clinical, and performing arts.

Kathy is a lead athletic trainer for schools in Fargo’s outreach locations like Kindred, Northern Cass, Richland and  in town middle school Carl Ben Eielson. She says it’s important for schools to have athletic trainers for many reasons.

“We help take responsibility off the coaches and administration. Such as, implementing emergency action plans, environmental concerns, checking equipment  and facility safety as well evaluating, treating and rehabbing athletic injuries.”

Kathy references about one month ago how an athletic trainer saved the life of a young basketball player by initiating CPR immediately.

“We’re always in the background watching. We’re highly trained to do the things when we need to, should an emergency or injury surface.”

Her words of advice for anyone considering this a career?

“I stayed in this because of the versatility.  I like the transition between different sports and the seasons  and the opportunity to be both indoors/outside.  And through the years, I’ve been able to work and build relationships with young athletes, coaches, and their families. It’s great when I’m working a tournament and see them now as coaches or refs.