Athletic training at Winthrop received a grant for the next 5 years for $130,000, which they will use to develop a new athletic training room at the Irwin Belk Track.
The grant came from the programs relationship with the Piedmont Medical Center, who is the official healthcare provider of Winthrop athletic training. This year they will receive $50,000 and will then receive $20,000 each year for the following four years.
The money will be used to build and equip the new training room, but some of the money will also go towards buying new equipment for the other athletic training rooms in the coliseum and at the baseball stadium.
Jeff Lahr, head athletic trainer, has high spirits about the addition of the new training room to the athletic complex.
“It’s exiting because it gives us another facility to help with the treatment and care of our athletes,” Lahr said.
The facility will mainly be used for the track and field team at Winthrop, but will also provide services for sports like cross country, lacrosse and soccer. Lahr believes the track team has been in need of its own athletic training room for years because of the size of the team.
“It’s mainly for track and field because there are just so many athletes and they practice at different times,” Lahr said. “The biggest issue is there are times when we have track athletes getting treatment from their athletic trainers while other athletes on the track team are practicing.”
Lahr worries that if treatment is taking place at the coliseum and somebody is inured at the track during practice then the athletic trainers will not be able to see athlete immediately. A new training room at the track will eliminate that issue altogether.
The track team has had a temporary training room that has been used by the athletic trainers for about five or six years, but it has
only been in use during track meets. The new training room will allow for the team to have a training room close by during both their practices and meets.
Lahr believes that having this new training room will benefit the other athletes aside from those on the track team. Lahr hopes that the new training room will make things much more convenient for soccer and lacrosse programs at practices and games as well.
“If they need something quickly they won’t have to run to the coliseum to get it, they can just go there and get it,” Lahr said.
Lahr said that the track team is so large that the current training room is often overcrowded and he hopes that the new facility will allow for an alleviation of that crowdedness, which will help the athletes and the trainers.
In the last meeting about the facility, the athletic trainers decided to move the new training room from one side of the storage room to the other, which means they will have to wait for new quotes about the costs. Lahr feels the decision to move the training room will only be beneficial.
Because the athletic trainers are waiting for the new quotes, it is unclear exactly when the new training room will be up and ready for use.
“It’s just a matter of those quotes coming in and us approving them,” Lahr said. “I was hoping to have it ready to go by the first meet which is at the end of March, I believe, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Although he isn’t sure exactly when the new training facility will be ready, Lahr said he and Ben Paxton, head track coach, are ready for the changes the facility will bring to the athletic department.
“Coach Paxton and I have been talking about this for a number of years, Lahr said. “We’re just really excited about having that facility and making us a better program so we’ll be able to take care of our student athletes in a much better fashion.”