The Howard County school board included yesterday in its budget request for the next fiscal year money to pay for having an athletic trainer at each high school during intra-scholastic sports practices and events.
The allocation, which the County Council must approve if it is to become effective July 1, marked the first time since the idea was broached locally in 1988 that the board has even agreed to seek the money.
Athletes in Howard County public schools, among the state's most affluent, and their counterparts in Baltimore are the last in Central Maryland not to have trainerspresent during athletic activity.
Proponents of the measure contended that the absence of trainers not only jeopardizes athletes -- when injury occurs and for rehabilitation -- but could leave the system open to financial liability.
The 10 Howard County high schools, which count 6,600 athletes, now share two part-time trainers who work on call from Columbia.
Board members voted 4-1 to add $85,840 to current sports-health services money, enough for each school to contract with a trainer who would cover all athletic seasons in the school year.
Pub Date: 2/24/99