The Blue Devils Health & Wellness (BDHW) team has been hard at work as 2016 marks their third year of existence. They started the season by conducting medical screenings of each member, including vitals and anthropometric measurements. Licensed physical therapists performed evaluations and prescribed individualized exercise recommendations focusing on any impairments that were found. "We really try to help the members see that many musculoskeletal issues are preventable. And if problems do occur, many can be helped along by the members themselves with some easy instructions," states Co-director Jeff Chaplin, MPT.
In an effort to keep members focused on their fitness programs they were invited to participate in the first BDHW "30-day Plank Challenge", targeted at increasing core strength. Congratulations to 1st year member Andrew Loyola for completing the challenge and winning a cash prize for his awesome planking abilities! Another fun event that happens annually is the BDHW CPR classes. We are incredibly lucky to have former BD drum major, now EMT and paramedic, Darrek Mullins offering CPR, AED, and first aid training to the entire Blue Devils family. Darrek has a knack at making the classes both fun and educational.
During tour, BDHW is busy managing illness and injury on the road, while also providing education for members and staff. Important topics that often come up include:
- proper footwear
- hydration and nutrition
- posture (including while sleeping on the bus)
- heat exhaustion (signs, symptoms, and prevention)
- sanitary efforts to prevent the spreading of germs
- bug bites and rashes
- shin splints
- general hygiene
- intestinal issues
- sun care and precautions
- and the list goes on...
With so many topics to consider and 150 members to keep track of, the team stays very busy managing all health issues, small and large. "There is never a dull moment during tour" states corps nurse of six years, Vicki Shannon, RN.
BDHW is also committed to helping the entire activity move in a more health conscious direction. Co-director and physical therapist Debbie Seeley is excited to once again participate in the Midsummer Medical Staff Summit and Member Evaluation Clinic, hosted by DCI's Marching Music's Health & Wellness Project. The event takes place at the Alamo Convention Center on July 23, 2016 after the DCI Southwestern Championships show at the Alamo Dome. Dr. Seeley remarks, "I love being able to give back to the drum corps community with the medical knowledge I have. Keeping marching athletes healthy and performing at their peak ability is truly a win for everyone."
The Blue Devils Health & Wellness Program is dedication to promoting health, wellness, and safety in the marching arts. Their core team is comprised of medical professionals, most of whom are alumni of the corps.