Conestoga hires its first full-time varsity sports therapist
By JAKE ROBINSON
The old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” won’t apply at Conestoga College this year.
The college has hired its first full-time varsity sport’s therapist.
Nathan Campbell, who has been a certified athletic therapist for eight years, started working with Conestoga athletes when varsity tryouts started this school year.
He will be responsible for a variety of different tasks, including, dealing with injuries after they happen and working to prevent injuries for both players and coaches.
“The athletes want to play, they don’t want to sit on the sidelines,” said Campbell. “So the faster I can get them back to play, safe and healthy as possible, the better it is for everybody.”
Campbell deals with orthopaedic injuries which are bone, joint and muscle related. The most common injuries that he sees are to ankles, knees and fingers. Knees are typically from contact while ankles can be from the playing surface, the athlete’s footwear or the player’s personal fitness level.
“There’s also the more severe stuff. All the way to potential concussions and spinal injuries, that I hope never happens, but I have dealt with that and am prepared to deal with that,” he said.
He will treat the injured player with protective taping, rehab, exercises and advice on how they can return to the playing field. He will also work to keep the player’s muscles loose and ready for action by giving them massages before games and practices.
He is also striving to educate athletes on how they can prevent injuries themselves. Athletes can help prevent injuries on a daily basis by participating in a good warm-up and cool-down exercise, making sure they maintain their fitness level beyond their sport, and practising.
“All of these athletes are high level athletes so they know their game, but that practice is still needed so they just don’t walk into a game cold,” said Campbell.
First-year business student Samantha Holdsworth, who is a member of the women’s soccer team, recently sustained an ankle injury. She has been treated by Campbell and enjoys the benefits of having a therapist.
“It will help everyone stay healthy and play to their full advantage because if anything happens he will just be right there,” said Holdsworth.
During the regular season, Campbell will attend certain games to accommodate in-game injuries. He can’t attend every game because he is the school’s only sports therapist, so certain factors will decide which games he will cover; high risk and home games will be his priority.
Campbell’s office is inside the recreation centre where varsity athletes can go if they need any medical treatment.
He is excited to be the school’s first, full-time therapist because it gives him the ability to develop new health systems for the athletes.
“Because this is a new position, I hope to develop a lot of systems and put them in place through prevention, monitoring an athlete’s medical condition status, the education stuff and essentially establishing a place in the building that can treat athletes,” he said. “And this is the start of it; this is going to be a longer process. Everything isn’t going to happen this year, but I’m starting that.”
PHOTO BY JAKE ROBINSON
Nathan Campbell tapes first-year general business student Samantha Holdsworth’s ankle after she sustained an injury. Campbell is Conestoga’s first full-time varsity sports therapist and treated athletes on the sports field outside the recreation centre on Sept. 14.