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West Campus Sports Council Teams Up With San Jose State Rugby

2/23/2011 (Archived)

ca - sjsrugby actionPalmer's West Campus Sports Council has ventured into a partnership with the San Jose State University (SJSU) rugby club, marking the first time in its 17-year history that the Council will provide continuous care for a team throughout the course of its season.

The SJSU rugby program, established in 1981, is a club sport (not sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association) and a member of the Northern California Rugby Football Union (NCRFU), which includes northern California colleges that also field club sport rugby programs, such as UC-Berkeley, Stanford University, Santa Clara University, and UC-Santa Cruz.

“As opposed to our usual one-day events, we will now have the chance to work with the athletes for the entire season. It represents a more ‘real-world’ patient management experience for our interns,” said Adam Meisenhelder, Sports Council past president, who was instrumental in forging the relationship with the SJSU rugby club.

The Sports Council will provide care for players at San Jose State’s practices and home games (played in the athletic field adjacent to Spartan Stadium), which run from January to April. West alumni Dr. Daniel Lord (’08), Dr. Jonathan Slater (’97), and Dr. Kily Tracy (’93) will serve as the primary field clinicians through the course of the season.

In addition to continuous care for a team over the course of its season, the physical nature of the game will definitely provide Council members with plenty of practical, skill-building experience.

“We are providing on-field care, as well as care in the Sports Council tent,” said Meisenhelder, who also served as ACA Sports Council national student liaison.

“Our Sports Chiropractic II elective specifically trains us for the type of trauma that we’ll see, from the full scope of musculoskeletal conditions, to concussions and other injuries common to the sport. This, combined with the taping procedures that we learn in the Sports Chiropractic I elective, will provide a good basis for the rugby experience,” noted Meisenhelder, adding he hopes the Council will continue to work again with the SJSU rugby team, and a decision will be made following a post-season evaluation of the inaugural association.

“While our single events provide learning opportunities for our students, we rarely have the opportunity to provide follow-up care, to assess the full impact of the initial treatment,” said Dr. Slater, who received “Clinician of the Year” honors at the Sports Council’s 2010 Awards Banquet in December. “When you see players at practice and games during the course of a season, you develop a rapport, establish a consistency in care, and monitor the progress, enabling you to better assess the outcomes.”

San Jose State rugby players and coaches are equally pleased to have the Sports Council on their team this season.

ca - sjsrugby2“We want to take San Jose State rugby to the next level, and the Palmer group can play a big part in helping us get there,” said third-year team captain Rashad Colver, who plays the “prop” position, as a Sports Council intern applied an ice pack to his bruised shoulder.

“We’ve never had a formal team providing care at our games. We’ve had single trainers come out to some of our games, or had to make due, on our own. This is a physical game, and we play without any padding, so it’s quite comforting to look over at our sideline, and see the Palmer tent.”

“We’ve never had anything like this before,” said Phil “Rolo” Toste, SJSU rugby coach for 20 years, and a former Spartan rugby player.

“It’s an enormous comfort to have skilled health care personnel available to assess our injured players, and, equally important, to provide pre- and post-game care that helps to reduce the risk of injury. Before this season, I only knew about Palmer College because of the success of their rugby program (at the Davenport Campus). I now have a whole new appreciation and respect for Palmer, and am very thankful to have them on our team.”