May 28, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Portola receives national trainers award for athletic program safety

Portola’s football team is one of the squads that is assisted by the training staff. (File photo Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone)

Portola High School has received the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School award for its athletic program, according to Athletic Director Katie Levensailor.

The award champions safety and recognizes secondary schools that have met the recommended standards to improve safety in sports, she added. It also reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment.

“Portola High School is honored to receive this first recognition from NATA,” said Kathryn Cleek, MS, ATC, head athletic trainer from Portola. “We remain committed to keeping our student athletes safe during physical education classes, team practices, and games so they can accomplish their own goals of great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship, and good health. Our goal is to lead our athletics program to the highest safety standards for our players.”

In order to achieve the Safe Sports School status,  Portola’s athletic department had to meet the following criteria, according to Levansailor:

· Create a positive athletic health care administrative system

· Provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations

· Promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities

· Plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment

· Provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes

· Develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions

· Provide or facilitate injury intervention

· Create and rehearse a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan

· Provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education

· Be sure athletes and parents are educated about the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities

“We are very proud of our athletic department and the work that was done to earn this award.  Special recognition goes to our ATC, Kathryn Cleek, who took a leadership role in making this happen,” Levensailor said.