Geneseo has 21 club sports teams, ranging from rugby to quidditch, according to Geneseo’s website.
While club sports require less commitment than varsity teams and are theoretically at a lower skill level, they are still competitive and players can still injure themselves. For this reason, it is fairly unreasonable that club sport athletes do not have access to any athletic training staff.
Varsity athletes have an athletic trainers’ office they can go to if they are dealing with injuries or illnesses affecting or sustained during gameplay. Club athletes don’t have access to this much-needed resource.
Since many club sports are contact sports that have high risk of injury like rugby, it seems unfair and potentially unsafe for the players not to have access to training staff.
In fact, sports like rugby have a high rate of head and spinal injuries, according to The Atlantic. This fact is frightening because club teams have no staff to go to report concussions and other head injuries, which could lead to serious issues.
Another factor that calls for increased training resources is the usual sprains and muscle pulls that can be left untreated for club athletes. When left unattended, playing through these injuries can lead to further problems.
These athletes have nowhere to go to get wrapped, iced and heated or have their muscles stimulated and stretched before and after practices and games. This not only hinders their performance, but also their health. These athletes still play competitively and are put in situations where they can be injured, so they deserve the same professional care as varsity athletes.
One response to this argument would be that club athletes can still go to Lauderdale Health Center, but the problem with this is that it sometimes takes several days to get an appointment, giving club athletes more incentive to play through their injuries. This delay then puts them at more risk to be severely injured.
Some may also suggest these athletes go to urgent care, but in most cases urgent care will simply recommend icing and elevation and to follow up with a doctor. The athlete wouldn’t be checked on daily as varsity athletes are with an athletic training staff.
Similarly, while varsity athletes get physical therapy and general treatment for these injuries for free, club athletes have to pay for those treatments because they need to use outside sources. This cost deters club athletes from receiving treatment, putting them at higher risks for severe injury.
An easy solution for this would be to add an athletic training staff to Lauderdale that athletes of any kind can visit. All athletes’ health should be valued by the school because if they are injured in any way, it can affect their physical and mental health, according to the NCAA. This then affects any student’s overall ability to perform academically.
Collegiate athletes of all levels deserve to have accessible treatment options from people who specialize in sport injuries. Varsity athletes’ health should not be prioritized over club athletes, especially when many club teams play at a varsity level but don’t have a varsity team to play on.