Ignacio earns ‘Safe Sports School’ salute

Joel Priest | Special to the Drum

Having survived the fall-sports grind of football, volleyball and cross-country, and now with ever-physical basketball and wrestling seasons about to explode into being, it’s a good thing Ignacio High School was recently recognized as a Safe Sports School, First Team by the National Athletic Trainers Association.

Saluted for not only facilities conducive to safer play, but also personnel ensuring such action, IHS’ honor – announced via an e-mail to IHS from the NATA Government Affairs office – will be in effect until Nov. 25, 2022, when it can be renewed providing all essential criteria have been met.

“We’re just a little spoiled in Ignacio,” joked athletic trainer Shelby Sangster, who re-applied for the award upon its 2019 expiration; predecessor Kolin Tomlinson had successfully done so previously, though under the proverbial radar.

“He’s the one who really encouraged us to have it,” she continued, speaking while preparing to depart for Thanksgiving week revelry with family on ‘neutral’ ground in Flagstaff, Ariz., “because it just has our school out there – that it’s possible to have nice facilities, and you can set up a program. It’s also, like, a reinforcement of why high schools should have athletic trainers – to have that title ‘Safe Sports School.’”

“This program will not only spotlight the vital work you do,” read the e-mail, “but positions the school as a leader in sports safety and a community concerned with its student athletes and their care.”

“It goes through the steps of, like, if you have a concussion-management team when an athlete gets a concussion,” explained Sangster, “how you take care of that through communicating with the school – the nurse, teachers, stuff like that.”

“With Centura, with Mercy Sports Medicine, we have a great team. Kolin, he oversees different high schools: Dove Creek, Dolores, Telluride, Mancos, and so we have this little spreadsheet online to where if we need help, we’ll set that out and be like, ‘Because we have soccer and baseball going at the same time, can we have someone else come out, help cover?’”

“It’s pretty nice to have this close-knit family, like, ‘Oh I can help you there’ and ‘I can help you here.’”

“We are excited to see the progress you will make,” the e-mail continued. “Congratulations on this significant achievement!”

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