OLDS — On any given weekend throughout the spring and summer months, the Canadian Professional Rodeo Sports Medicine Team (CPRSMT) can be found at Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and Professional Bull Riding events all over western Canada.
From June 2-5, they were in Olds, working with and treating the athletes competing in the Alberta High School Rodeo Association Finals.
“We are very excited to be able to provide our services to the high school finals this weekend,” said CPRSMT director Brandon Thome.
“On top of the at-event care we provide, our team works closely with the Ty Pozzobon Foundation to ensure we are providing education in taking care of yourself inside and away from this rough and tumble sport.”
By sending two-athletic therapists, a massage therapist and a chiropractor to each event, the CPRSMT made sure the care and attention given to high school rodeo competitors matched that of their professional counterparts.
The Ty Pozzobon Foundation has been pivotal in ensuring that the CPRSMT can look beyond just the professional schedules, providing both funding and some of the educational programming available with the team.
The Ty Pozzobon Foundation was founded in 2017 after the passing of Professional Bull Riders (PBR) Canada Champion Ty Pozzobon.
After losing his life to suicide, Pozzobon was diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE, becoming the first rodeo athlete to be diagnosed with the disease.
His friends and family came together to prioritize the health and well being of rodeo athletes and make sure that the appropriate tools are available to those competing in the western sports world.
“Our team doesn’t get down the road without the Ty Pozzobon Foundation," Thome said.
“They are our biggest supporter and we are lucky to have an organization that has such a strong mission itself supporting our already passionate venture to ensure rodeo athletes are taken care of the same as any other sport,” he added.
Thome said the High School Rodeo Finals were important for the CPRSMT “because we are able to connect with these athletes in their first years in the sport as they move up to a potential career in the professional ranks.
“We can instill some of the important knowledge in them now – everything from physical fitness and competition preparation to dealing with injuries and recognizing and maintaining their mental health, which might just give them some extra cards for success in the future.”
At the High School Rodeo Finals, teenage rodeo athletes competed in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, breakaway roping, steer wrestling, tie down roping, team roping, saddle bronc riding, bareback riding and bull riding.
Thome says the typical day in the life of a CPRSMT member will see athletes coming for additional stretching, taping, following up from previous weekend’s bumps and bruises, as well as massage and chiropractics for those who need it.
The team also responds in the arena to any emergencies and deals one-on-one with the competitors themselves.
“We are excited to be expanding our scope of coverage in this sport. We are at every PBR event in Canada, a majority of the CPRA events and are always pushing to be at as many western events as possible,” Thome said.
“The Alberta High School Rodeo Association is already known for making future superstars, so we (were) pumped to be able to bring another tool to these competitors’ toolbox.”
This story was submitted by Collegiate Sports Medicine (Olds) Inc, which is part of the Canadian Pro Rodeo Sports Medicine Team.