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Keeping in touch, athletic trainers unveil new ‘Sunday Stretches’ video program

April 10, 2020

Even in these times of disarray—or perhaps because of them—new routines and patterns have begun to emerge. From President Clayton Rose’s bi-weekly email updates to various Zoom classes and Microsoft Teams meetings, one thing’s for sure: these routines mean more time looking at screens and less time venturing outdoors. As a means to promote health and wellness during quarantine, the Athletics Department debuted a “Sunday Stretches” program on YouTube last weekend.

The short and informative videos are designed and produced by Bowdoin athletic trainers, featuring tips and stretches for students to stay healthy and injury-free at home. Episode One was put together by athletic trainers Ashley Stambolis, Gretchen Henderson and Joe Shaw, and offered tips for setting up a comfortable, “ergonomically correct” workstation at home.

Five more episodes have been planned, and they will cover upper and lower extremity stretching, myofascial release (a technique for easing pain in various “trigger points” on the body), breathing techniques and tips on progressing from prolonged sitting to activity as the quarantine eases.

The idea for the series came from Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Performance and Head Trainer Dan Davies.

“[Davies] presented us with this project as a way for us to reach out to our student-athletes and show them we are still here to support them in injury prevention and care, even from afar,” wrote Stambolis, Henderson and Shaw in an email to the Orient.

This is the first time the athletic training department has ever done a social media program. Despite their relative inexperience, the trainers enjoyed making the first episode.

“It was a lot of fun and way harder than it looks!” the trainers wrote. “We’ve received great feedback from staff, coaches, and student-athletes, so that’s positive. We are using a lot of technology [and] programs some of us haven’t used before … Thank goodness for Micki Manheimer in our Sports Information department—she was able to make it all happen!”

Over the next few weeks, the three will look to involve more members of the training staff in the videos.

“Our entire staff will be in front of the camera to help deliver encouragement and support through these trying times,” they wrote.

After a shout-out in Rose’s email Tuesday and the initial positive reception, will the training staff expand the “Sunday Stretches” program to something more ambitious?

“[We] think that is to be determined—who knows where this newfound fame will take us!”


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