Celebrating small victories.
Showcasing the superheroes of the athletic field.
That was the theme Mainland High School's athletic training program captured in a TikTok video for the annual National Athletic Training Month PR Contest by the Athletic Trainer's Association of Florida. The program came in first place for its division, as well as was named the overall winner, earning the students $200 for more classroom equipments and T-shirts.
It's a small victory, but in a time where these students can't celebrate their win in their classroom, the program's athletic trainers hope it cheers the students up.
“There still is good things happening," said Ashley Simpson, MHS assistant athletic trainer. "We just have to find the good in the world and keep trying to make the best out of a bad situation.”
The video shows students caring for a hurt football player on the school's field. This was based on the contest's prompt, "How athletic trainers impact health care through action."
Program president and MHS senior Liz Hernandez said she and her peers like the TikTok app and decided to use it to display their passion for their program. The word "superhero" came to mind because athletic trainers are the first ones on the field when a player gets hurt.
Hernandez said they put their hearts in it.
“We never thought we were going to win, and in such a bad situations, it just felt good to hear," she said.
Head Athletic Trainer and MHS Teacher of the Year Kallie Walker said it shows that, even though many of their National Athletic Training Month activities were canceled due to the pandemic, there is still hope and a chance for normalcy — it just might look a little different. She said perhaps they can throw a banquet celebrating the students at the beginning of the upcoming school year, rather than the end of the current one.
“It’s just kind of nice to let them have something to celebrate and look forward to, and show off, even though we don’t have school anymore,” Walker said.
Both Walker and Simpson are MHS alumnae and graduates of the school's athletic training program. They're keeping the legacy, Walker said.