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Whitworth professor helps athletic training students gain valuable field experience

The athletic training team stands together for a group photo.This spring, thanks to the coordination efforts of Assistant Professor of Health Science Cynthia Wright, athletic training students from Whitworth assisted elite athletes at the prestigious Team Cup Challenge figure-skating event held in Spokane, Wash. The Team Cup Challenge is a continental team competition between Team North America, Team Europe and Team Asia, with a total of 10 nations participating. Each team includes three women, three men, two teams of pairs and two ice-dance teams, who compete throughout the three-day event. Students gained beneficial experience while lending their passion and talents to internationally known names in figure skating. Wright coordinated Whitworth's volunteers under the direction of the medical director and physicians.

"The Team Cup Challenge is a national-level professional sporting event, with 42 of the world's elite skaters competing," Wright says. "For students interested in future careers in international professional athletics, this may be their only opportunity as students to experience working on a healthcare team at this elite level."

Whitworth students worked alongside certified athletic trainers from Whitworth and a local therapy clinic. They were involved in direct patient care, and the service provided by athletic trainers included injury evaluation, basic injury care and taping.

"Being able not only to observe, but to participate in, the medical care for an elite event like this is very rare and valuable," Wright says.

The medical directors for the Team Cup Challenge were Whitworth team physicians Ed Reisman and Barbara Brandon. They frequently pair with Whitworth to add athletic training services to their healthcare team, partnering annually at Bloomsday and other events.

"It is a great collaboration to bring in our individual specialties and to work together to provide the best array of services for the athletes we serve," Wright says.