March is National Athletic Training Month, and the Gustavus Athletic Training majors have been spending their time raising awareness about their program with various activities around campus.
“The month is really valuable for getting the word out about what exactly we do and where we can apply our skills. A lot of people have misconceptions about what athletic trainers do and so we use this month to try and get rid of those misconceptions,” Junior Athletic Training Major Sara Welch said.
Junior Travis Mattson, also stated that the month of March is a great opportunity to inform the public about the Athletic Training department and its students.
“It helps spread awareness of athletic training to inform people what athletic trainers can do and what type of settings can benefit from having athletic trainers. A lot of people I know do not fully understand what an athletic trainer is and what skills they possess, and this is a great opportunity to educate them,” Mattson said.
One of the primary events that has taken place during National Athletic Training Month was the department’s food drive, which took place March 17-26. Every donation will be given to the Saint Peter Area Food Shelf.
This year’s total collection has not been calculated but in March 2013, the drive collected over 200 pounds of non-perishable items for local families in need of food.
“The food drive is really the highlight of the month for us. We work really hard to get the word out about that so we can help out the community and also make people aware of the department,” Welch said.
The chance to engage with the Gustavus and Saint Peter communities are not the only benefit of Athletic Training Month for athletic training majors. The activities provide the students within the department a chance to build the trust of student athletes who might come to them seeking medical assistance for a sports-related injury, according to Junior Athletic Training Major Adam Carpenter.
“It shows these people the open, friendly and fun environment that we have created in the training room and allows them to develop a trust in us to help and fix any problem that might come their way,” Carpenter said.
The athletes are then given the opportunity to give feedback to the trainers by writing notes on a poster hanging in the athletic training room, another aspect of Athletic Training Month that is very valuable, Welch said.
“It’s nice to see all of the athletes taking the time to write on it,” Welch added.
While the month of March is coming to a close, the Gustavus athletic training majors are available year-round to help Gustavus athletes with their injuries, and their hope is that the month has done an effective job of raising awareness for their department and their future professions.
“This month has really allowed us to take pride in not only what we do here at Gustavus, but also as a profession in general,” Carpenter said.