Athletic trainers getting student athletes “severe weather ready”

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As we now get into the Spring severe weather season, many organizations are reviewing their thunderstorm procedures to make sure all athletes are safe on the field.

It was pouring Thursday, but the Pike High School Rugby Club Team was still on the pitch.  The players on the team play through anything, except severe weather.

“If it is lightning or there is a thunderstorm, I am glad our coaches are looking out for us,” said rugby player Aaron Noble.

Lightning has sidelined football games, golf tournaments, even the 4-H Fair.

“We all live in Indiana, and storms turn in a heartbeat here,” said Chad Gabbard, St. Vincent Sports Medicine head athletic trainer.

Gabbard is the head athletic trainer at St. Vincent Sports Medicine.  He said it is a trainer’s job to make the ultimate call when it comes to delaying or canceling a contest.  He said just one phrase keeps athletes safe.

“If thunder roars, go indoors,” said Gabbard.  “If you hear thunder, somewhere there was lightning.”

Hoosiers have seen what severe weather can do.  Last year, Seymour softball player Emily Bobb was struck by lightning on the practice field.  Bobb recovered.

Gabbard said steps are taken every year to get all athletes out of harm’s way.

“Every time you have an emergency come up, you reflect back on it at the end of it to see if we could do anything better,” said Gabbard.

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