I-League model may be similar to what schools use for athletic training services.

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Consider the Athletic Training Model deployed in many schools.

Schools often obtain the services of Athletic Trainers by way of a contract. The athletic trainers support the school's athletic programs. 

Three examples: UPMC, AHN / AGH, ESSMC.

UPMC Sports Medicine is a larger provider with more than 30 schools / contracts.

UPMC Sports Medicine logo

UPMC Sports Medicine offers a range of services focusing on preventing and treating injury and illnesses, and helping athletics — young or old, professional or amateur — reach their peak performance. 

Highmark Inc. serves as the official health insurance sponsor for the PIAA. Highmark Inc. is recognized as a “presenting sponsor” for all PIAA Championships. 

Allegheny Health Network, Highmark Inc.’s provider partner in western Pennsylvania, serves as the healthcare provider and sponsor for the PIAA within its service area, and provides team medical coverage for more than two dozen local high schools in the Pittsburgh and Erie regions.

“Highmark looks forward to extending its market presence throughout the PIAA’s 12 geographic districts across Pennsylvania. We have a long history of providing schools across Pennsylvania with top-notch health insurance and are eager to further demonstrate our support for youth sports through this sponsorship,” shared Tom Doran, Chief Operating Officer for Highmark Inc.

East Suburban Sports Medicine Center, another service provider to schools.

ESSMC Ad in Trib Live HSSN

ESSMC is an advertiser for the Trib Live High School Sports Network. See the banner ad along with the news coverage of the girls playoff games.

Schools contract with a larger organization to provide specialized duties. 

Similar, services-arrangements contracts can more easily meet the needs of the students and schools for aquatics.

  • Schools have a tremendous burden with the hiring of full-time teachers and staff. 
  • Hiring part-time people for specialized duties, such as athletic trainers and swim coaches, can be better accomplished with the aid of outside talent acquisition. 
  • The school principal does advertise, recruit, negotiate terms, determine best practices, nor micro-manage the athletic trainers. Of course, the athletic trainer gets evaluated by the principal, AD and coaches. The supervision efforts are entrusted to the terms of the contract and the guidance of a central office for many athletic trainers.
  • Swimming teams die because good coaching is hard to find. 
  • It is far less effective to recruit, hire, train and guide aquatic professionals / swim coaches within each school. To thrive, these duties can't be siloed and be foisted upon each principal.

Vision: 

Deploy Aquatic Professionals

Aquatic professionals often means a swim coach, but there are other specialist among the broader meaning beyond a typical swim coach. With resources and talent of a central league, the duties are matched to the individual.

  • Lead a school assembly
  • Coach diving and diving try outs
  • Coach water polo or SKWIM session
  • Teach kayaking
  • Lifeguard a class reward pool party
  • Lead swim lessons for elementary students
  • Supervise swim practice with video coaching tools

Athletic Trainers call upon specialist too.

Athletic trainers have a wide range of skills, and athletic trainers have a medical model for back up.

Replicating the model that schools use for athletic training in regard to aquatics is wonderful step.

A former school athletic director and sports league executive director said, upon hearing of this plan that covers for swim coaching needs, “Schools are going to love it because swim coaches are nearly impossible to find.”





But, better yet is a widening of the scope of services by those fulfilling athletic training to also include aquatics.

UPMC Sports Medicine could expand its scope of practice to provide aquatic leadership services at the swimming pool.

  • Win for UPMC.
  • Win for schools.
  • Win for kids.
  • Win for public health and wellness.

UPMC could sponsor and have a vested interest in the I-League!

Athletic trainers at schools have relationships with students. The athletic trainers could help to identify students who might be most interested in joining the I-League activities.

Athletic trainers at schools have insights and contacts with staff, para-professionals, teachers, volunteers, guardians, boosters and athletic directors. The athletic trainers could help to identify and introduce potential lifeguards, swim instructors and coaches to the I-League process.

Athletic trainers at the schools have injury and rehab awareness among the students and could better facilitate aquatic rehab sessions and opportunities if in better coordination with the swim leaders.

Athletic trainers could better introduce students to the professional journey and opportunities with a career of being a health care provider, starting with things like CPR, First Aid, and Lifeguard Certification.




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