When the proposed athletic training program for Bellingham High School fell through just days before the first day of school, athletic coordinator, Chad Larsen reached out to the community for help.
Brian J. Weeda, MS, PT, AT, TPI with Performance Physical Therapy answered Larsen’s call.
“Without an athletic trainer on staff, our school was in a very real pinch. Brian answered the call and Performance Physical Therapy saved the day. The expertise, resources and support provided to our students has been invaluable,” said Larsen.
Weeda creatively worked with Larsen to provide physical therapy services. Weeda opened the doors at Performance Physical Therapy located at 1616 Cornwall (that sits only one block away from BHS) for student athletes five days a week from 6 to 8 a.m. In-season injured athletes simply report to the front desk for an appointment and Weeda and his staff provide injury evaluations and treatments as needed. For students who can’t make the morning drop-in clinic, Weeda has a trainer available at Bellingham High School in the training room for an hour in the afternoons on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
“So far the system is working,” Weeda said. “At times we are seeing five to six student athletes per day after a sports event from the night before.”
One of the goals of Weeda’s program is to get high school students involved and provide internships. Treating the athletes, as well as arranging the internships, helps young athletes learn about the field of sports medicine.
“We are passionate about teaching and introducing youth to the field. I provide over 20 internships per year, and we look forward to working closely with Bellingham High this year,” Weeda said.
Weeda is now also providing on-field sports physical therapy services and athletic training services during games. Weeda’s colleague, Conner Eddy, an exercise science and pre-physical therapy student from Western Washington University, is also at games to provide basic first aid.
“It is important to teach students and coaches about proper Injury assessment, rehabilitation guidance, facilitation of recovery and injury prevention. I have come to learn that many athletes would not have such access and services unless this was provided by the high school” said Weeda.
Weeda said during his time with Bellingham he has been able to provide early diagnosis for injuries and provide quick treatment that allows athletes to heal properly and return to their sport, therefore avoiding additional injury.
“Having Brian and Conner here to assist and guide our athletes toward better health has been a wonderful service to provide our student athletes. We are very grateful to Performance Physical Therapy for their support of Red Raider athletics!” Larsen said.