First aid for club sports

When sophomore Michael Manganelli sprained his ankle at a club basketball practice, there was no trainer available to help him. “There was no trainer that I could go to to get my ankle looked at, so I had to miss one of the few games that we had,” Manganelli said. Right now, club athletes do not have a full-time medical trainer and the Student Government Association is looking to change that. The Students Activities Committee wants the Center for Health and Wellbeing (CHWB) to expand their services to include sports medicine for club sports, Chair Amanda Adams said. In the past, sports medicine was provided for every athlete through the CHWB, but now it’s only offered to varsity athletes, Adams said. “Since then, [the] SGA has been paying part of a staff members salary to be able to provide these services to those playing club sports,” Adams said. The increase in competitive club sport teams at UVM makes these medical services insufficient, head of the resolution Zach Malloy said. UVM has 53 club sports with an average of about 1,600 students participating in these sports. For them, there is only one part-time trainer available and no on-campus facility, Malloy said. “UVM is significantly behind our peer institutions such as the University of Maine at Orono or the University of Connecticut,” he said. “This disparity between our programs highlights just how far the University of Vermont is behind in providing adequate sports medicine coverage to our club sports.” The SGA must decide between using more of the SGA budget to pay for more sports medicine or pushing the CHWB to include these services again, Adams said. Each semester UVM collects a “comprehensive fee” from students that pay for services and facilities like the gym, the library, campus buses, the Davis Center and the CHWB, according to the Student Action Committee Report on the Student Comprehensive Fee. The CHWB has a total budget of $6,415,530, 85 percent of which is funded by the Student Health Fee, according to the report. Out of the budget, 8.6 percent is used for Athletic Medicine, but it’s only available for varsity athletes, according to the report. The resolution will go before the Senate on Dec. 7 and will call upon the CHWB to hire a full-time athletic trainer for club sports athletes, Malloy said. “This is by no means a complete solution to the challenge of providing adequate medical coverage for club sports, but it is a step in the right direction,” Malloy said.