HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Chadd steps away after 17 years as Southmont athletic trainer

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NEW MARKET — For 17 years Kim Chadd has been a fixture in Southmont athletics.

With a number of coaching changes and new athletic directors during her tenure as the Mounties’ athletic trainer — the time has come for Chadd to make a change herself.

On Friday, Chadd wrapped her last football players’ ankle and applied her last bag of ice. After 25 years as an athletic trainer, including the last 17 at Southmont, she’s moving into a new role with Franciscan Health.

“I think staying in one place is not as common as it used to be,” Chadd said. “So I think it’s an advantage to have that consistency in the same position. Knowing how the school system works and everyone is comfortable with me. I think that was a good situation for Southmont and it was good for me.”

While the student-athletes change continuously, Chadd also saw many changes at the athletic director position and many of the high profile coaching seats — but it didn’t deter her from forming the best relationship possible.

“I always worry when we had a change, especially in the AD job and also some of the coaches like football, you have to know each other and how you’re going to handle things,” she said. “You trust one another and feel like we have each others’ backs if anything comes up. Establishing relationships like that is huge and makes both of our jobs easier.”

Luckily, Chadd had the opportunity to work the last nine years with athletic director Aaron Charles and the last 14 with football coach Desson Hannum.

Chadd was first licensed as an athletic trainer in 1996 and took over at Southmont in its’ infancy days of having a full-time athletic trainer after leaving behind a four-year stint at Fountain Central.

And she’s endured the changes that have progressed within the athletic training field.

“Those changes it seems that we are more proactive in getting ahead of things,” Chadd said. “I attribute that to Franciscan kind of leading the way on some of those issues. The bottom line is the safety of the kids, but I think athletic training has really grown and there’s more responsibility. I was certified in 1996, so a lot has changed since then.”

Looking back Chadd’s favorite memories are all the athletes she worked with and everlasting relationships she’s formed.

“Obviously it’s the kids,” she said. “I always joked that they kept me young over these years, just because of their energy and that full of life kind of fun. Developing the relationships with the kids, and of course the parents. Kind of being that fixture in the community a little bit.

“You get to know families and you have one sibling and then you have the other, so it’s been pretty neat to see. I see the kids later as adults and you run into them and meet their spouse and then they have kids and it’s kind of full circle.”

Chadd took the athletic training program at Southmont to new heights and without a doubt leaves it better now than it’s ever been.

“I’m definitely thankful for Franciscan and Southmont giving me the opportunity to work with them and develop the program,” she said. “When I came to Southmont it was in the beginning stages of an athletic training program, so it’s nice to look back and see ‘hey I’m a big part of that.’ It feels good leaving that and knowing coaches can trust, parents can trust, and the kids are comfortable with an athletic trainer at their school.”

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