Olentangy Local Schools will receive free athletic training services from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for the next three years.
The Olentangy Board of Education accepted Ohio State’s proposal at its meeting on April 28, after hearing a presentation from its representatives.
According to the proposal, the services Ohio State Sports Medicine will provide include: Two athletic trainers per high school, for a total of 3,120 hours a year at each school; three coaches’ clinics per year at each high school; Saturday injury clinics at the Lewis Center CarePoint August through December; the use of D1 Columbus sports fields on U.S. 23; a sports performance coach for 400 hours at each high school; injury prevention programming; weight certification; and concussion testing.
“We look at this as a tremendous opportunity for us,” said Tom Caldwell, associate executive director, sports medicine and ambulatory services. “We’re committed to the district. Strategically, we felt this was a community we’re invested in. We have a CarePoint here, and we’re here for the long haul.”
“We’re excited about partnering with Olentangy Schools,” said Dr. Christopher Kaeding, executive director of sports medicine. “We have 15 disciplines all working together. We’re going to focus on the student part of student-athlete. Like Olentangy, Ohio State is an institution of education. I understand you want to win — believe me, I work with Urban Meyer — but we’re also dedicated to education.”
“Ohio State will expand the terms of this agreement to accommodate the fourth high school at no additional cost to OLSD,” states the proposal. “Ohio State intends to leverage its position as the official sports medicine provider for OLSD and is excited about the potential to partner with OLSD on additional marketing-related projects.”
OSU currently provides similar services for Granville, Upper Arlington and Columbus City Schools.
The district had been using OhioHealth. Two OhioHealth trainers thanked the district for using their services during the comment portion of the meeting, but understood that the providers were going to change.
“This is not a reflection of OhioHealth staff,” said board member Julie Wagner-Feasel prior to the board vote. “A lot of times as a school board member, you have to make decisions based on what’s best for the school district at this time.”
She also noted that none of the board members are OSU graduates.
“Ohio State, you have a lot to live up to,” Wagner-Feasel said.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.