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Last updated: December 24. 2013 9:53AM - 468 Views

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Just like the Bobcat football team, Ohio University’s high-energy band, the Marching 110, will have its own cadre of athletic trainers on hand at the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl on Dec. 23.


“Marching band routines, particularly those of the Marching110, are much more physical than most people realize,” said Jeff Russell, director the University’s SHAPe Clinic, a unique facility whose mission is providing healthcare for performing artists, from ballet dancers to tuba players. “Our clinic is founded on the principle that performing artists need and deserve medical attention just like traditional athletes.”


The Science and Health in Artistic Performance, or SHAPe Clinic, is a place where injured performers can be evaluated, treated and receive health and wellness advice from licensed athletic trainers who have the specialized equipment and knowledge to treat their injuries. The care is provided with no out-of-pocket costs to the performing arts student.


So riding on the band bus alongside cases of drums, trombones and clarinets will be crates of athletic tape, emergency splints, a folding massage table and heat pack warmer.


“Of course, everyone’s much happier when we have nothing to do,” said Russell. “But the reality is that these performers get injured and often require taping, bracing, treatments and rehabilitation exercises.” Russell’s crew for the bowl will include two certified athletic trainers and a student clinician, all wearing their signature black scrubs.


The SHAPe Clinic is a unique partnership between Ohio University’s College of Health Sciences and Professions and the College of Fine Arts. Russell devised the program with support from faculty and staff across several Ohio University departments, as well as funding from a university grant.


“Virtually every performing artist sustains several injuries in the course of his or her career,” said Russell, who joined OHIO in 2012 and has a Ph.D. in dance medicine and science. “And they have at least one horror story – if not more - about being underserved and marginalized by the medical profession.”


Ohio University’s Marching 110 will perform during halftime in the game between the Ohio University Bobcats and East Carolina Pirates at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, Mon., Dec. 23. ESPN is broadcasting the 2 p.m. game.


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