National Athletic Training Month is held every March to spread awareness about the important work of athletic trainers. No better time to highlight Mrs. Antoinette Bailey and Mr. Joe Ingraham, Norfolk Academy's athletic trainers, who do much more than help injured student-athletes.
The Norfolk Academy Athletic Training Program's mission is to provide the highest quality of medical care. Coaches Bailey and Ingraham do this by supporting all of Academy's more than 70 athletic teams by taking steps to prevent injury, but also recognizing, treating, and rehabbing injuries when they occur. Often this brings the athletic trainers to campus well before the school day begins, and keeps them there until well after the final games have concluded, not to mention for weekend practices and contests that take place during breaks from school.
Norfolk Academy is the recipient of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Safe Sports School award, which recognizes secondary schools that have met the recommended standards to improve safety in sports. The award reinforces the importance of providing the best level of care, injury prevention, and treatment. To achieve Safe Sports School status, programs must create a positive athletic health care administrative system; provide or coordinate pre-participation physical examinations; promote safe and appropriate practice and competition facilities; plan for selection, fit function and proper maintenance of athletic equipment; provide a permanent, appropriately equipped area to evaluate and treat injured athletes; develop injury and illness prevention strategies, including protocols for environmental conditions; provide or facilitate injury intervention; create and rehearse a venue-specific Emergency Action Plan; provide or facilitate psychosocial consultation and nutritional counseling/education; and be sure athletes and parents are educated about the potential benefits and risks in sports as well as their responsibilities.
Academy's Head Athletic Trainer, Coach Bailey, as students often call her, has taught physical education and served as an Athletic Trainer at the school since 2004. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training with a minor in Biology in 2002 from Longwood University. While at Longwood, she worked with student-athletes at Hampden-Sydney College, Prince Edward County High School, and Longwood. She then earned a Masters’ Degree in Education from Old Dominion University while working as an Athletic Trainer for Virginia Wesleyan.
Students know Coach Bailey as much more than an athletic trainer, though. While she is responsible for monitoring and helping at countless practices and games over the course of the year, she's also helping out at numerous other events. She's taking photos during varsity football's Last 100 Yards ceremony, serving as a faculty leader on the spring Leadership Lab program, and much more.
Students recognize that dedication, and Coach Bailey's commitment to them. As Ellis Stedfast '21 noted in his Senior Tribute, “Coach Bailey has taught me so much and has gotten me to become a better person. She has helped me overcome adversity."
In addition to his athletic training responsibilities, Coach Ingraham teaches physical education in Middle School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in Coaching Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also holds a master’s degree in Athletic Training from Virginia Commonwealth University. His first job after completing his education was at Titus Sports Medicine/Performance as the athletic trainer and manager. He then became the athletic trainer for the VCU women’s soccer team. More recently, he worked at Gloucester High School as an athletic trainer and teacher.
The varsity girls basketball team honored Coach Ingraham with its team award on its Someone Special Night in February. The night honors loved ones who have made an impact on the student-athletes' development. Like Coach Bailey, Coach Ingraham steps into roles well beyond his athletic training responsibilities. He participates in the annual charity basketball game and helps make sure teams have all the equipment they need before getting on the bus for road trips.
As Reed Ramirez '22 stated in his Senior Tribute, the hidden gems at Norfolk Academy are “Trainers Coach Bailey and Coach Ingraham." No doubt about it.