Everyone is accustomed to seeing Big Walnut High School Athletic Trainer Lori Siegel on the sidelines during home games. She’s on the clock, but she hopes she doesn’t have to put her talents to work; she wants every game to be injury free. But when the occasion presents itself, Siegel is prepared for just about anything. Injuries of almost any type and severity are all in a day’s work for Siegel and her Student Aides.
During the Wednesday, March 19, Sunbury Village Council meeting, Sunbury Mayor Tommy Hatfield presented Siegel with a mayoral proclamation recognizing her efforts, and the efforts of athletic trainers everywhere, as part of National Athletic Trainer’s Month.
“National Athletic Trainer’s Month is a great opportunity to raise awareness in the community for individuals not exposed to athletic trainers and what we do on a daily basis,” Siegel said after accepting the proclamation. “When I started here we had seven athletic trainers on staff; we have 31 today.”
Siegel said during the past several years she has been increasingly involved in service outside of school in the community, especially with Big Walnut club lacrosse before it became a varsity sport this year, and other youth sports.
“Working with younger athletes gives me a different perspective,” Siegel said. “And it makes the transition to school sports a lot smoother for athletes if they are accustomed to working with a certified trainer at an earlier age.”
Lori Siegel graduated from Hempfield Area High School in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, and attended Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training. Siegel then earned a Master’s Degree in Athletic Training at West Virginia University.
Siegel is currently employed at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in the Sports Medicine Department, and serves as Athletic Trainer for all Big Walnut athletics. Throughout the year, between sports seasons and in the summertime, Siegel works at the Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine Clinic.
“Being an athletic trainer is not just about treating minor injuries on the field or court,” Siegel said. “There’s a lot of education involved in this job; educating coaches, athletes and parents about the continuity of care between being injured and getting back on the field — learning the things they need to do to stay in the game.”
According to Siegel’s webpage, Certified Athletic Trainers are allied health care professionals certified by the National Athletic Training Association Board of Certification; and Certified Athletic Trainers work under the direction of licensed physicians and in cooperation with other health care professionals, athletics administrators, coaches and parents.
It’s that professional atmosphere that’s valuable to student aides who have an interest in studying to become Certified Athletic Trainers themselves.
“Student aides are integral to what I do,” Siegel said. “They help with prep work before games, and if they’re interested in the field they get to see up close what an athletic trainer does.”
Siegel said the Certified Athletic Trainer field is growing, with more athletic trainers going into nontraditional settings like NASA, dance and industrial settings.
For additional information about Nationwide Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine Department go to < nationwidechildrens.org/sports-medicine >.