Sanford takes over athletic training

Kaila Vetsch

This past August, Sanford Health made a huge contribution to SDSU’s Athletic program that has and will continue to have positive effects for the program.

Sanford, the rapidly expanding non-profit organization, made a huge contribution to the South Dakota State Athletics, by donating $10 million towards the construction of a new indoor facility. According to SDSU University Relations, Sanford has contributed the second largest donation to the school. The first largest donation was from Avera with $15 million in 2007 for the creation of the Avera Health and Science Complex. Sanford will now be the sports medicine provider for the Jacks

for 10 years and also has naming rights over the new facility.

The athletics facilities on campus have continually been expanding. The Dykhouse Student-Athlete Center was opened in 2010, and now the new indoor facility is set to take off in 2013. Sanford has made that more of a possibility as its donation was a huge push towards the estimated $25 to $28 million cost of the new facility. As of August, SDSU had gained a total of $18 million, with $10 million coming from Sanford. Plans are being executed to expand the SDSU athletics facilities as not just the university but also the program is growing.

Justin Sell, SDSU’s athletic director, is enthusiastic about the new partnership with Sanford. Relations with Sanford and their staff have progressed smoothly up to this point.

“Sanford has been outstanding,” he said. “From injuries to physicals to tests, they have been very accommodating.”

Questions have been raised about Avera and Sanford on the same campus.

“For our school it’s a huge positive to have both Avera and Sanford. Having both on campus is beneficial,” Sell said.

Avera and Sanford are both leaders in their fields, and to have both so highly interested in SDSU could provide great opportunities. With Avera on the education end and Sanford at the sports end, he has a vision of the two forming a partnership to provide a sports academic program that is more advanced in dealing with sports nutrition. According to Sell, the research that could happen has the promise to be “cutting edge.”

Having both Avera and Sanford at SDSU during a time when the path of health care is uncertain is an exciting aspect to Sell. With the two leading health care providers, SDSU has an opportunity to be working on the inside with change and solution.

“This is a great time to be at SDSU, and it makes a lot of sense to partner the two leading fields,” he said.

Sanford is providing funds for SDSU that are laying a great groundwork for the potential ahead. Sanford as the athletic provider is just scratching the surface regarding the partnership’s potential.

There are many positives to this new addition at SDSU that have already been in effect and will hopefully continue as the athletic program embarks on its continuing journey to expand.