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Students, parents ask FCPS to fund more full-time athletic trainers for high school sports

WJLA – Washington D.C. 2 days ago Kellye Lynn
© Provided by WJLA – Washington D.C.

Every time athletes are on the field, they risk getting injured.

In Virginia's largest school system, there's growing concern athletes don't have the necessary support.

Students and parents are now pushing the Fairfax County School Board to fund more full-time trainers in the fiscal year 2024 budget.

"The player, Chris, happened to break his leg during practice and the trainer wasn't able to get down there until about 15 minutes after the injury occurred," W.T. Woodson High School athlete Matt Hyder told the Board.

7News reached out to Fairfax County Public Schools and learned there should be two certified athletic trainers at each high school; one full-time and one part-time.

Although 29 high schools are listed on the FCPS website, there are currently only 25 full-time trainers, 18 part-time, and three newly added full-time floater positions.

Full time trainers start out with a salary of a little over $63,000 per year, while part-time trainers receive three stipends which total  just over $16,000.

RELATED: Doctor offers tips to prevent overuse injuries in youth athletes

"It's very difficult to find someone to take a position that's essentially less than they'd get paid to work at McDonald's," Andrea Edelstein told 7News.

Edelstein has a son who plays football at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke.

READ ALSO: FCPS employee union concerned about compensation and security officers in schools

She emphasizes the trainers do a good job but says having two full-time trainers at every high school in the district would go a long way toward improving safety.

"Safety of our students is paramount so this is a need not a want," she said.

7News spoke to a  full-time trainer at an FCPS high school who says he will soon be the only trainer at his school.

More public hearings on the FCPS FY24 budget are planned in the coming months.

7News will keep you updated.

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