The Cleveland Browns and University Hospitals joined forces once again to provide athletic trainers to two Cleveland Metropolitan School Districts (CMSD). Entering the third consecutive year, the collaboration, with support from the NFL Foundation, has ensured an athletic trainer is present at all of their sporting events for the 2017-18 year. Between the two high schools athletic trainers, David Silverstein and Stacey Gainer, will provide on and off the field coverage for 18 sporting programs and 600 scholar athletes.
This past Saturday the CMSD Football teams had their championship game, which featured Rhodes and John Hay. At the game we were able to speak with the University Hospital athletic trainers and watch them in action. Stacey Gainer from Rhodes has been with the school for three years now and has been fortunate enough to watch some of her players grow up. Stacey has been able to establish a positive relationship with the players where they can trust her and ask her for help whether it be on the field or off the field problems. Stacey jokingly said, "I am like a second mom," and after watching the relationship she has with the players and how they interact with her, we can definitely see that being true.
On the other side of the field for John Hay we met up with Darrell Reed, an interim athletic trainer covering for David Silverstein. Darrell has been an athletic trainer with University Hospitals for 29 years now and has covered almost every sporting event you can imagine. When we asked Darrell about how much the coaches and the school board appreciate them being there, he said, "Very much, because it makes their lives easier."
Desiree Powell, Director of Interscholastic Athletics, Health, Physical Education & Student Activities, was able to shine some light on how much the trainers mean to the school and also their communities. Desiree said, "It's my job moving forward to work with them to educate our kids a little deeper as for what it means to being a student athlete and what it means to be fit, and even though there will be injuries there are ways to be proactive." Desiree hopes that in the end they will be able to build an even stronger relationship between the trainers, coaches, faculty and student athletes and hopes that it will transform beyond just the field.
The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents. For more information on Browns Give Back, visit ClevelandBrowns.com/BrownsGiveBack and follow @Brownsgiveback on Twitter and Instagram.