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Memorial Medical Center’s Competitive Edge now set up at NFHS

Memorial Medical Center's Competitive Edge now set up at NFHS

Memorial Medical Center’s Competitive Edge now set up at NFHS

MIA SUMMERSON/CONTRIBUTER Fernando Pineda, left, runs a nutrition activity at the open house for new location for the Competitive Edge program at the field house at Niagara Falls High School. Nutrition is one of several non-athletic programs offered, as a proper diet is an important part of a strong athletic performance.

Memorial Medical Center's Competitive Edge now set up at NFHS

Memorial Medical Center’s Competitive Edge now set up at NFHS

MIA SUMMERSON/CONTRIBUTER Certified athletic trainer and strength conditioning coordinator Jason Hopkins demonstrates some of the training exercises used in the Competitive Edge program to Cataract Elementary sixth-grader Joseph Dixon. 

Posted: Monday, March 23, 2015 3:00 am

Memorial Medical Center’s Competitive Edge now set up at NFHS

By Mia Summerson [email protected]

Niagara Gazette

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center has officially opened the newest location for its Competitive Edge Sports Performance Program at Niagara Falls High School.

The program got its start in 2006 and began as part of the hospital’s Wellness Center with a focus on helping young athletes improve upon the skills necessary to perform in their respective sports or to help them regain strength after an injury. The facility is located in the school’s newly constructed field house, located on campus behind the football field. 

“We needed more space to work with teams,” said Sports Medicine Director Tony Surace. “So we submitted a proposal to the district to open (the field house) up to the community. The school district wanted it to be used.”

Competitive Edge offers a variety of programs for not only teams but also individuals. Athletes can focus on strength training in the weight room, speed and agility, plyometrics training and more. Injured athletes can also take advantage of the Competitive Edge Sports Medicine Program, which helps athletes get back to the same level of performance they were at before they got hurt. 

Each program is custom-designed to fit the needs of each athlete, taking into consideration the sport they play and particular areas they may need to improve on based on their current skill level. Programs are planned and instructed by certified athletic trainers and strength and conditioning specialists. Other, not strictly athletic, programs are also available including CPR and nutrition training. 

“If you don’t have proper fuel you’re not going to perform,” said Jason Hopkins, certified athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coordinator. “We offer programs that help with proper diet and teach the importance of staying hydrated and other things of that nature.”

Different programs are available to different parts of the community. Student athletes, from the modified level through the college level, have access to the individual and group programs offered by Competitive Edge. Other programs, such as yoga or pilates, will be open to the general public. 

Another important advantage of the opening of the new facility is that student athletes now have a Niagara County option for training whereas many of them previously had to travel to Erie County for access to a similar program. 

“Kids from Niagara Falls have had to travel to Buffalo or Amherst before,” said Fernando Pineda, also a certified athletic trainer and strength conditioning coordinator. “No one else around here does what we do.”

The cost for participation in any of the Competitive Edge programs starts at $45 per session for individuals, $75 per session for a group or $129 per session for a whole team. Certain insurance companies may provide coverage for participation in the program, Surace said.  

The facility will be used by Niagara Falls High School teams during regular practice hours after school, so availability for teams from other schools, groups or individuals will be open after school and on Saturdays, Surace said. To make an appointment or learn more, interested parties are encouraged to call the Competitive Edge Program at Memorial Hospital at 215-0723. 

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Monday, March 23, 2015 3:00 am.

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