Athletic training provides sport-specific care through preventative treatment, medical assistance, and injury rehabilitation. Athletic training was further behind than the growth of women’s sports. The budget costs of proper staff and adequate equipment caused many schools, including Trinity, to stretch the workload of current trainers or rely on student trainers. Interviewees remembered having access to athletic training resources, though quite limited. Even the limited access was a major improvement from high school.
Women athletes at Trinity lacked an official athletic trainer until 1975, when the University hired Barb Jones. As an athletic trainer, Jones gave physical therapy exercises for injured athletes, provided medical assistance at practices and games, and supplied injury prevention care like heating pads and massages. Jones also unofficially served as the manager and assistant coach of the basketball, softball, and volleyball teams. Glada Munt, class of 1973, recalled that prior to Jones’ arrival, Coach Johnson or Coach Potter would tape their ankles if they needed, but they otherwise did not receive sport-specific care. Most interviewees noted that even this inequitable situation was an improvement over their experiences as female athletes in high school, where women had no access to appropriate care and an injury meant the end of a woman’s athletic career.
In Dr. John Moore’s Title IX compliance report, he identified inequities in the availability of medical accessibility for women’s athletes. The whirlpool—a container with hot and cold temperature capabilities for the athlete to submerge sore muscles in for post-practice recovery—was only accessible through the men’s locker room. Professor Rushing or another PE administrator would escort women into the men’s locker room after the men evacuated in order to use the whirlpool. Terri Hailey, class of 1981, remembered walking into the men’s locker room to get her back checked by Head Trainer Levi “Knock” Knight, saw the whirlpool and TV, and thought “wow” and “oh my gosh.” Hailey and her teammates got changed in the women’s restroom, so this space was very different. Additionally, Trainer Knight was scheduled to work with the men more than women. Dr. Moore recommended that a part-time trainer for women’s athletics was the solution to this inequity.
Yanika Daniels, class of 1996, remembers that incredible impact that her trainer, Janet Bristor, had on her. Stuck in a knee brace because of her reconstructive surgery, Daniels was determined to play the last game of her season without it. Bristor’s intense rehab plan allowed Daniels to reach her goal and she never had to wear a brace again. It was due to a dedicated professional who carved out time to work with Daniels that she had complete recovery. Click here for her oral history quote. Twenty years earlier, a woman athlete would not have been able to get that one-on-one attention from a Trinity trainer. When athletes compete on behalf of their school, it’s very important that they recieve proper medical care and athletic training so they can get their body back after injury.