UT athletic trainers keep Rockets in the game

March 28, 2013 | Features, UToday
By Paul Helgren

Athletic training is not just about healing a sprained ankle or containing the pain enough so an athlete can compete; it also pertains to the preventative measures taken to avoid major injuries so they do not occur in the first place.

Brian Jones, UT assistant athletic director for sports medicine, taped the ankle of basketball player Matt Smith.

Brian Jones, UT assistant athletic director for sports medicine, taped the ankle of basketball player Matt Smith.

March is National Athletic Training Month, and The University of Toledo Athletic Department would like to acknowledge and thank the athletic training staff and highlight their work.

Brian Jones, UT assistant athletic director for sports medicine, oversees the highly trained and personable staff members who provide preventative and recuperative care for student-athletes to keep or get them back on the field of play.

Athletic trainers are educated professionals with a minimum of a bachelor’s degree who obtain certification credentials, as well as state licensing, have knowledge about the latest trends and equipment accessible through continuing education courses, and are members of a professionally recognized American Medical Association organization, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association.

Athletic trainers work with coaches and their teams to personalize preventative and post-injury care specific for the needs of the student-athletes and their sports.

In conjunction with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, the UT Athletic Sports Medicine staff is promoting this month’s theme, “Every Body Needs an Athletic Trainer.” The goal is to raise awareness about the value of athletic training not just for student-athletes, but for everyone. Part of that goal is to encourage a change in legislation and public health and expand opportunities within the field. Another goal is to get every athlete to personally know his or her athletic trainer not just after an injury, but before an injury occurs.

“National Athletic Training Month gives me an opportunity to thank my staff for all their hard work to protect the health and safety of our Rocket student-athletes,” Jones said. “I feel very privileged to supervise a fantastic group of young, energetic athletic trainers who work very hard behind the scenes. They truly are ‘the team behind your team.’”

Working with Jones to keep Rockets in the game are Gretchen Buskirk, associate head athletic trainer; John Walters, associate athletic trainer; and Kelly Stobba, assistant athletic trainer.

The staff also includes athletic trainer intern Robyn Hafner, as well as graduate assistant athletic trainers Mike Alfonsi, Samantha Bowker, Mike Mayes, Sam McMullen, William Saul and Lauren Welsch.

In addition, physical therapist Jennifer Miller and administrative assistant Michelle Harris help keep things running smoothly.

For more information the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, click here.

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