New Athletic Trainer on Molokai
For nearly the past two years, Molokai High School (MHS) athletes have been competing at a disadvantage –they’ve been without an athletic trainer. However, the Farmers got a new athletic trainer this month who will tend to their injuries and ensure they are able to play at their physical best.
Deborah Thompson, a California native, moved to Molokai and officially began work as MHS’ athletic trainer on Nov. 1. She brings 30 years of experience as an athletic trainer, working at both the high school and college level. She has also worked as an orthopedic technician and assistant surgeon in California for 12 years.
“My goals are to educate the coaches and the kids that are here and to provide well-rounded educational program for years to come,” said Thompson. “It’s not just for the athletes, but also for the coaches, teachers and staff.”
As an athletic trainer, she hopes to teach coaches, athletes and staff how to maintain and manage injuries, prevention techniques, the importance of keeping hydrated and symptoms to watch for in the case of a concussion. She will be travelling with teams to their off-island games and accommodating any needs that may arise.
Every other school in the Maui Interscholastic League has an athletic trainer, according to Thompson.
“Because [Molokai] is such a small island, no [athletic trainer] has really wanted to come here [for the past two years], but [Molokai] deserves to have the same services every other school in our league has,” said Thompson.
Thompson’s arrival comes at an opportune time as MHS athletics prepares to enter its winter season, which include swimming, wrestling, canoe paddling and basketball.
“For me as the athletic director doing my job, plus athletic training, and the demands of an Educational Officer, having [Thompson] on board takes a tremendous lift off my shoulders,” said MHS athletic director Hoku Haliniak, via email. “We now have someone to help with preventive injury awareness, safety for the sports and mainly someone here on campus to help our student-athletes with their injuries.”
“This is a dream come true, to come to Molokai,” said Thompson, who has family on neighboring Hawaiian Islands.