They are some of the unsung heroes in sports.
Too often much of their work goes unnoticed due to the few glimpses into their profession that are available to the public eye. Thus, they are often reduced to just the people who tape ankles and run out on the field to tend to an injured player.
However, those brief moments of visibility fail to encapsulate just how much the role of being an athletic trainer entail. That is why the National Athletic Training Association (NATA), an organization of over 45,000 members, sponsors March as National Athletic Training Month – as an effort to spread awareness of the work that athletic trainers do as health care professionals.
This year’s slogan was fittingly “ATs Impact Health Care Through Action.”
Members of the Army West Point athletic training staff have stepped up to a call to action that seemed unimaginable just a few months ago. This group is volunteering to assist in monitoring the health of individuals entering West Point, a measure instituted by the United States Military Academy (USMA) as a part of its COVID-19 response.
USMA officials reached out to the athletic department seeking individuals with medical backgrounds to volunteer at West Point’s entrance gates. The request was then relayed to Tim Kelly, Army’s head athletic trainer.
“It was really quick. It happened over the course of a couple hours,” Kelly said. “They just asked who’s interested. I sent an email out to my staff and we had about 15 volunteers right away.”
The group has been working in shifts, some of which range from 6-8 hours, since March 28. Individuals seeking to get on to West Point must go through the first checkpoint where they are asked a series of questions pertaining to their health. Dependent on their answers in the preliminary check, they are then sent to a second checkpoint where the group has been stationed. Read more.