BOCES’ Sports Medicine Fair Puts the Focus on Staying Healthy

May 30, 2019

High school seniors in the Sports Medicine program at Putnam | Northern Westchester BOCES put their knowledge on display at the program’s Sports Medicine Fair, held on May 30, 2019 at BOCES’ Yorktown campus.

Helping people put their best, and healthiest, foot forward is something the students in the rigorous two-year program are passionate about. “This fair is the culmination of two years of hard work by these students,” said teacher Dr. Will Brightman. “They have learned about all different careers associated with sports medicine, from athletic training to physical therapy, and this is a great way for them to share their insights with the school community.”
Brightman, who is also a practicing chiropractor, credited the students with studying a vast amount of material during their two years in the program – everything from anatomy and physiology to injury prevention and rehabilitation. Students also interned at area facilities ranging from physical therapy offices to nursing and psychiatric care centers, and many will graduate with 12 college credits under their belts.

Colleen MacNeil and Tess Bartman, both seniors at Mahopac High School, were manning a table on the topic of heart health and assessment. “Being in this class and being guided by Dr. Brightman opened my eyes up to so many different career possibilities,” said MacNeil, who plans to study nursing in college. Bartman agreed, adding that the students, who have become “like family,” have learned about “critical soft skills, such as empathy and medical ethics.” She is planning to pursue biology and psychiatry in college next year.

David Jackson of Croton and Luca Petriello of Mahopac presented on the benefits of stretching. “We are both athletes,” said Jackson, “so we’ve always been instructed to stretch before games. Something we were surprised to learn, and that we wanted to share here, is that stretching after exercising is even more important.”

A steady stream of students and staff members circulated through the fair, which took place in the sports medicine classroom at BOCES’ Tech Center. As visitors learned about cardiovascular health, injury prevention, rehabilitation, strength and conditioning and concussion management, the sports medicine students became the teachers, enthusiastically sharing what they had learned to help others live better lives.

“This program is so much better than regular school,” said Jackson, who plans to study exercise science in college. “We have loved coming here every day and learning with like-minded people.”