Palmer'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.
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
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.”