Hayden Burch is an Athletic Trainer at the Vereen Rehabilitation Center who partners with Pelham High School in assisting their athletes. After graduating from Radford University in Radford, Virginia, a friend from his cohort class suggested he apply to the Vereen Center, and he got in.
“The Center offers a lot of stuff for the athletes,” Burch said. “If players are injured after their games, we offer MRIs and X-rays for them. They also provide materials and supplies for their athletic trainers.”
Burch grew up in rural Riner, Virginia, where he attended Auburn High School and played soccer. His high school never had an Athletic Trainer, but during his senior year, he attended a recruitment camp where he interacted with one for the first time.
“After working with the trainer and seeing everything he did, it led me to want to become one,” Burch said.
Burch didn’t continue his soccer career in college, but he always knew he wanted to stay in the sports world. So far, he has enjoyed his time working with Pelham High School.
“It is kind of like it was in Virginia,” he said. “Pelham is an A school, so they’re pretty small, but really good in athletics. They have a lot of nice facilities. The size is smaller, but the caliber of athletes is a little bit better.”
A typical day starts at 11 a.m. for Burch. He does treatments before lunch and treats injured athletes after lunch leading up to football practice. After practice, he’ll stay around to do basics such as icing. Although one of his main focuses is football, he assists players in all sports.
“Softball is in season, and basketball and baseball are starting their preseason and tryouts,” Burch said. “I go wherever I need to.”
Some of the most common injuries Burch has been seeing are ankle sprains and pulled muscles.
“I suggest to rest and ice,” he said. “You can start to strengthen after one or two days.”
While he enjoys working with the Vereen Center, Burch plans on moving back to Virginia after completing his master’s degree.
“I would like to work in a clinic or another high school when I move back,” he said.
One thing is sure, though. Hayden Burch believes he is well prepared to live out his passion thanks to the Vereen Center.