Justin Sportsmedicine Team on call at Rodeo Rapid City|
- January 24, 2017
FORT WORTH, TX – When the Justin Sportsmedicine Team is at an event such as Rodeo Rapid City during stock show week, contestants know they will be treated as professional athletes and have the finest medical care available.
They know that any nagging injuries, bumps, and bruises will be given the attention necessary to keep them competing with the best available resources for injury prevention. In the event of an injury, they rest assured that it will be treated comprehensively with the mission of getting them back in the arena as quickly as possible. That is exactly what the program was designed to do over 35 years ago when it was founded and funded by the Justin Boot Company and started at just 10 rodeos as the official healthcare provider of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).
In 2016, the Justin Sportsmedicine Team traveled coast to coast providing services to over 120 rodeos covering over 540 performances. Throughout the year, they provided more than 8,400 treatments while recording 1,200 new injuries. Essentially this equates to one and a half tons of ice, 200 miles of tape, and 3,000 hours of service.
The success of the program can easily be measured by the reduction in occurrence and severity of injuries. Rodeo contestants, like other athletes, get hurt. Injury prevention has been taught and stressed, but injuries are a fact of life in the arena. Preventing those injuries and then treating them when they do occur is the core of the program. It means contestants can be more competitive and spend less time on the bench. This is very important to their livelihoods because if they aren’t competing, they aren’t making money.
While the Justin Sportsmedicine Team utilizes full-time staff with a variety of medical backgrounds, they rely on local volunteers from here in Rapid City to make it successful. At many rodeos, they work out of a mobile medical unit that has x-ray viewing capabilities, high-tech therapeutic equipment, and all of the necessary treatment and rehabilitation supplies needed.
The on-site program manager coordinates all of the care with a network of selected doctors, athletic trainers, physical therapists, hospitals, and clinics to provide comprehensive care for any medical need.
Customized injury-reporting software is used to give accurate exchange of information regarding treatments and injuries. It also allows for the team to research and evaluate injury information within rodeo. Any member of the team in a given location can follow up with the athletes.
Local committees from across the United States are an integral part of the program as well. The cooperation between staff, volunteers and members of the committee all add up to a program that has changed rodeo for the better.