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Gatorade recognizes Falcon trainer

May 02, 2016 | Community Relations

foster long
Foster High School trainer Melissa Long is the 2016 Gatorade Secondary School Athletic Trainer Award-winner for the Southwest Region of the Secondary School Athletic Trainers Committee (SSATC).

Long’s hard work paid off for the athletes at Foster. Not only does the award pay for her to go to the National Association of Trainers Conference in Baltimore, but it brings a gift package from Gatorade.

The package includes:

• A Gatorade sideline cart, valued at around $4,000;
• A Gatorade G Series Performance Package, featuring Gatorade products, coolers, cups and squeeze bottles; and
• A $1,000 grant.

The award recognizes a certified athletic trainer from each NATA district who has made outstanding contributions in furthering their high school’s athletic care program, while also advancing the overall profession of secondary school athletic training.

The notification letter said the SSATC was impressed with Long’s volunteer role with the district School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC), where she spearheaded the development of a system to collect data from throughout the District to determine how well the physical and health education components of Coordinated School Health (CSH) are implemented in Lamar ISD schools. She then worked with others in the District to implement the program.

While trainers mostly concentrate on keeping athletes healthy and safe, Long said the data collection program was aimed at students throughout the District. 

“Through data collection for the whole District, we are concentrating on all students in Health and PE classes, ensuring they are safe and getting proper health instruction,” she said.

All this was on top of her every day job of providing care for an entire high school of athletes and teaching three classes.

“I feel humbled that Gatorade felt my work was worth of an award,” Long said. “I feel that my work is not done. We always have room for improvement and I thrive on finding how to guide the district on future successes.” 

Long will officially receive the award in July at the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association Conference in Arlington.