Every sports team deals with its share of injuries. When Exeter High School’s athletes get injured, they turn to Audrey Dickman, Exeter’s head athletic trainer.

With a training room full of laughter and smiles, Dickman keeps the students moving forward through injuries. She approaches every student and injury in a way that keeps the students positive and optimistic.

Dickman refers to the students as her kids, and makes sure to keep them as safe as possible.

Thanks to her work, and her dedication to protecting the students, Exeter was recently awarded the NATA Safe Sports School Award, 1st Team.

The award is an initiative by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association to ask schools to raise the bar when it comes to sport and athlete safety.

“It was like a five or six page double-sided checklist of things and requirements that we had to meet, and do like a self- assessment of whether we met them. There was so much on there,” Dickman said of applying for the award.

Her determination to achieve the standards set forth by the NATA got the entire school involved.

“Thank goodness for administration, the coaches, everyone made becoming eligible for this very easy for me. And it was because everyone was so into it that we could write these emergency action plans and have the coaches train with us on it; that we could have concussion protocols in place with administration, teachers, and guidance counselors. Without that, without everyone else collaborating, we wouldn’t have won it,” Dickman said.

The efforts of the trainer and the entire school paid off.  As Dickman said, “The school won the award, I just facilitated it.”

“It was kind of like the culmination of the last decade of my work here,” Dickman said, “Which was neat that it all came to fruition at once in time for the award.”