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GREENWOOD — Athletes need top level care if they get injured to get back on the field at 100 percent. A program at a local career center is training students to provide that care.
Students at Central Nine Career Center in Greenwood are passionate about helping others and many want to support professional athletes. They're getting a head start on the skills and knowledge they'll need through the center's exercise science and athletic training program.
"The high impact, intense Friday nights for football, cramping, I deal with all of it," Kiley Tuttle said. "I think of it as a thing I love to do. It's pretty much not a job to me, it's fun, it's just what I love."
Students gain lab experience in the field and study health fitness, wellness and sport in the classroom. It's all a part of getting them ready for careers in physical therapy and athletic training.
"Evidence-based practice is a huge thing nowadays to implement with their patients and they'll already have that foundation," Renae Bomar, exercise science and athletic training instructor, said.
While playing soccer for Franklin Central, Max Catlow got hurt and needed physical therapy.
"I went in for a hip and knee surgery," Catlow said.
That's where he found something more than help with his injuries.
"First day I went in I loved the program and I fell in love with the idea of helping others, not even for the idea of money but the idea that others can have the same life you wish you could have," Catlow said.
With every ankle wrap and crutch fitting they make, the students are finding the importance of fitness for their patient to get them back to 100 percent physically and mentally.
"When you join that role, how they helped you and you go help others, it's just amazing," Catlow said.