Some relationships get better with age. Our district has worked with the Orthopedic Institute (OI) over the last 24 years, with OI providing athletic training services to our school district once a week, and for all football, wrestling and other “big events.” Over the past year, Mr. Steckler and I have met with a number of prospective vendors related to athletic training services offered in our District. After looking at our options, we have renewed that relationship with the Orthopedic Institute and the Sioux Falls Specialty Hospital (SFSH). It has been a great relationship in the past, and we look forward to further developing that relationship in the future.
Two aspects of the new relationship are significant. First, we will see much more service provided to our student athletes. In the past, a trainer has come out once per week to assist with rehabilitation and injuries. Next year, we will have a trainer out to the school five days per week, before practice and during practice to provide our students with injury rehabilitation as well as taping and injury response during practices. This is a 5X increase in services for our district! In the past, we have only had a trainer available for home football and wrestling. Next year, we will have a trainer available for all of our home athletic events to provide services for injured athletes. Our student athletes will see better services provided to them in Garretson than we ever have before. We appreciate OI’s commitment to our school and our athletes.
The second aspect of this new agreement is also exciting. As part of the discussions about developing our athletes in Garretson, we talked about our summer and in-season strength programming. Our student athletes will see significant improvement in this area starting THIS SUMMER! This includes a complete remodel of our weight room facility. We asked staff from OI to come out to look at our current set up and asked them what they would recommend to maximize the space available. Not only did they recommend some significant changes to how the room is organized, but they also recommended that we replace our current equipment. As part of our renegotiated contract with OI and SFSH, they agreed to upgrade our weight training equipment as part of the enhanced services offered to our school. Equipment has been ordered, production has begun, and we expect the equipment to be delivered in June.
New equipment is only part of the story. OI has experts in maximizing performance in athletes. We will be able to tap into that expertise. They have agreed to come out to train our coaches in not only the proper use of the new equipment, but also in biomechanics – how to train kids with proper technique to get the most out of lifting weights and developing speed. We will have one of these experts out in Garretson weekly, working with our coaches through the summer to ensure we get the most out of our time working this new equipment.
We had some additional ideas for ways we could really improve our weight room, including replacement of the flooring and the addition of cardio training equipment that was beyond the scope of our agreement with OI and SFSH. We are proud to announce that the Garretson Blue Dragon Booster Club has pledged an additional $13,000 for flooring and equipment that will really make our training area something to be proud of. We can’t thank them enough!
It’s a great time to be a BLUE DRAGON!