Gary Stroud, MS, ATC, discusses the life-saving work of athletic trainers

Although athletic trainers deserve recognition every day, March is National Athletic Training Month, where we celebrate and acknowledge the importance of the AT profession.

Athletic trainers must prepare for the unexpected. Injuries occur within a split second, which the nation witnessed earlier this year when NFL safety Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field from a cardiac event. The Bills’ assistant athletic trainer Danny Kellington was credited for saving Hamlin’s life that Monday night because of his quick response and administration of CPR on the field.

The frightening incident serves as a reminder of how important it is to have certified athletic trainers on the field, from professional teams to local high school and middle school.

Gary Stroud, MS, ATC, manager of Sports Medicine at Hattiesburg Clinic, recently spoke with WDAM about the work and services their team of athletic trainers provides in the Pine Belt.

Hattiesburg Clinic Sports Medicine program covers over 25 area schools to ensure local athletes have proper medical coverage. From high school football and basketball to the Southern Miss Coca-Cola Rodeo, the clinic’s athletic trainers can be found on the sidelines, monitoring player safety and providing first aid and emergency care. The sports medicine program also offers free, hands-on CPR certification training for local athletic coaches.

“What I enjoy about athletic training are the encounters and relationships that I get to have with my coaches and athletes and to be able to aid in the recovery and prevention of injuries to keep my athletes on the field,” Stroud said.

Follow the link to watch the full interview:

Feature story also published as a “Letter to the Editor” in Pine Belt News: