Cici Chagnon ([email protected])

Boasting 25 sports and 15 varsity teams, Ursinus College has no shortage of athletics. According to the Ursinus website, one-third of students are varsity athletes, and many Ursinus students still participate in sports despite not playing on a varsity team. A quick look at the college’s website will show that 85% of the student body participates in some form of athletics. Club sports such as rugby and cheerleading, stage groups such as Dance Team and Escape Velocity, and intramural are popular groups on campus. There are certainly plenty of opportunities to stay active. However, bears face some barriers to participating in these groups while remaining healthy. Such activities can be physically intense, especially for dedicated members. To maintain the health of students looking to stay physically fit, non-student athletes should have access to athletic trainers.

Injuries can occur to students even if their sport of choice is not played every day or travels far for games. While college athletes should of course be given priority, non-athlete students could greatly benefit from the opportunity to meet with a coach. The wellness center is a good resource, but the expertise of an athletic trainer is in the sport. For cheerleaders, rugby players or dance majors, waiting for a date at Wellness can be a setback. Sometimes taking care of your body is as simple as getting an ankle bandage or grabbing an ice pack, but without sneakers it’s hard. Simply asking a question about stretching or rolling could make a difference for students participating in athletics. Additionally, to ensure the safety of all participants, an on-site coach during games or performances could help prevent injuries that distract some students from their on-campus hobbies. Especially for carless students on campus, having easy access to healthcare resources is vital to their well-being. Physical activity is also a great way to improve mental health, and students shouldn’t have to turn away from these outlets when faced with what may be minor injuries.

Not only could intramural and club athletes benefit from access to coaches, but students who are not involved with specific organizations could also benefit. Many students, even if they are not on a club team, work out at the fitness center or run on the Perkiomen trail. Exercise has so many physical, emotional, and academic benefits that it’s no surprise that so many Ursinus students find themselves in physically demanding clubs and activities. Ursinus is fortunate to have so many vibrant organizations that promote physical well-being; access to athletic trainers would further promote the overall health of all college students.