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Pitman athletics, head trainer win prestigious honor
pitman safe sports
Pitman head athletic trainer, Markus Turner, was joined by his family to receive the NATA Safe Sports School award on Wednesday morning. - photo by Christopher Correa
Pitman High School has been awarded the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Safe Sports School award, an honor that recognizes secondary schools that have met the recommended standards to improve safety in sports and reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention and treatment. Pitman is only the seventh school in the state of California to receive the honor this year.

“Pitman is honored to receive this first Team recognition award from NATA,” said Dave Walls, Athletic Director. “We remain committed to keeping our student athletes safe during physical education classes, team practices, and games so they can accomplish their own goals of great competition, winning records, fair sportsmanship, and good health. Our goal is to lead our athletics program to the highest safety standards for our players.”

The award was presented to Pitman head athletic trainer Markus Turner during the annual PHS Athletics wrap up and recognition rally on Wednesday morning. Scott Sailor, who previously served as the 13th NATA president and currently serves as a special assistant to the Dean in the College of Health and Human Services at Fresno State, was in attendance to hand an honorary banner to Turner.

“Many of the responsibilities necessary to be recognized for this award fall on the shoulders of Markus,” Sailor said. “This signifies to the community, the athletes and the parents that Pitman High School believes safety is paramount.”

To qualify for the honor, schools must create a positive athletic health care administrative system, provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations, promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities, have proper maintenance of athletic equipment, provide a permanent and appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes, develop injury and illness prevention strategies, provide or facilitate injury intervention, create and rehearse a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan and provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling amongst other things.

Turner expressed his gratitude for the award and credited the Pitman student-athletes for helping him achieve the honor.

“I am honored to be your athletic trainer,” Turner said. “This award isn’t about me, but it’s about all of us. You guys come in with the mentality to work hard, and it’s our job as the athletic department to make sure that you guys are as safe as possible… This is a team effort.”

Turner also took the time to thank Walls for his guidance over the years, the coaches he’s worked with, and his wife for her dedication to their family amid his around the clock duties as head trainer.

Turner wrapped up his acceptance in only a way he can, by continuing to conduct his duties as head trainer and reminding returning PHS student-athletes to complete their physicals.

“It’s a testament to his hard work ethic,” Sailor said. “Pitman is lucky to have him.”