New athletic training facility raises Tabor’s profile

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
To celebrate National Athletic Training Month, Tabor College will be celebrating a grand opening of its renovated athletic-training room.

The event, which is open to the public, will be from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. The new training room is located in the the southeast corner of the Tabor Gymnasium and Student Center.

Refreshments will be served.

“Everyone from the college or in the Hillsboro community is invited to come through and look around,” said Jennifer Livingston, who directs Tabor’s athletic-training program.

Livingston said the open house will showcase the new 925-square-foot facility, which replaces the old 250-square-foot area. Included is a 60-square-foot private examining room.

Livingston said the new facility has helped make her job, and the job of assistant athletic trainer Jim Moore, much more manageable.

“It makes things so much easier in terms of traffic flow,” she said. “We don’t have the bottle neck at the door we used to have.

“We now have a door that exits directly to the outside, which will be great during sports like football because we’ll be able to give treatment and do rehab and the athlete can just head straight out the door,” she said.

“We’re now able to treat many more people at the same time as opposed to what we used to, and we’re better equipped so we’re more efficient in our ability to treat people.”

Livingston and Moore are both certified athletic trainers and members of the National Athletic Trainers Association, an organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of athletes worldwide.

Additionally, Livingston said her office space has increased to 145 square feet-nearly quadruple of her former office.

“This will allow me to meet with perspective students in my office,” she said. “They’ll be able to see our facilities and make a more informed decision about attending Tabor College.”

Livingston said the new athletic training facility puts Tabor College at the forefront of the KCAC in terms of progressive treatment facilities.

“Several coaches have told me this is the best athletic training facility in the entire conference,” Livingston said. “I haven’t seen all the schools, so I can’t say that. But the coaches sure seem to think it’s the best, so that really makes us proud.”

Livingston said the open house will enable the public to tour what Tabor has to offer as well as what an athletic trainer’s job is.

“If a family has a student who is a potential student at Tabor, this is an avenue they can take to become familiar with our program,” she said. “There are different areas in the facility in which unique functions take place.

“We’ll probably either have students manning the areas and giving explanations about each, like a mini-tour guide, or we’ll have place cards set up to tell what takes place in each area such as the hydro-therapy area.”

Fund-raising is an ongoing battle at Tabor, Livingston said. She suggested a couple of ways the public can become involved.

“We have an area where the duct work juts out, so we’re planning a fund-raiser where you can put your hand print or write a message on it for a donation,” she said.

“We have our ‘Tabor College: Called to Greatness’ shirts available, and they’ll be sold that night also.”

Livingston said most athletes know that early care speeds recovery in the event of an injury.

“For those programs that have an athletic trainer on staff, they’re better able to identify and treat injuries for their athletes immediately,” she said. “This allows them to stop inflammation from building, reduce their pain quickly and help the athlete keep motion in the joint.

“This, in turn, allows the athlete to return to action much quicker as opposed to a school that waits too long to treat the injury.”

Opening the facility to the public will offer prospective students and their parents the opportunity to decide if they want to pursue a career in athletic training.

“Not only are high schools and colleges hiring athletic trainers, but the most recent addition has been in a corporate and industrial setting, where athletic trainers are on site and act sort of like company nurses,” Livingston said. “This saves a lot of money for those companies in compensation bills.

“Athletic training is definitely a great career choice.”

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