Buy a T-shirt, help a trainer: March is Athletic Training Month

Kathlyn Hotynski

The month of March is Athletic Training Month, and a group of UW-Eau Claire students are using it to bring awareness to their future profession.

“We are making people aware of what we do,” senior Stefanie Bengel said. “A lot of people think it’s just strength and conditioning or nursing, but it’s actually a mix of the two.”

The Athletic Training Association, a national organization, is promoting athletic trainers throughout the month of March. Eau Claire’s Student Athletic Training Association is helping the promotion in a number of ways.

“Specifically this month we are running a promotional video (in McPhee) that promotes athletic training,” lecturer Garry Grant said.

The group is also selling T-shirts that say “I heart my athletic trainer,” Bengel said.

The T-shirts can be purchased for $10 in McPhee, and the proceeds enable athletic training majors to attend conferences, Grant said.

Four students will be participating in the Great Lakes Athletes Trainers Association conference this month, Grant said. It is taking place in Illinois and includes students from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio.

Other students are participating in community service projects, Grant said. Typically all of these activities take place during the year, but they are being more heavily promoted throughout the month of March, He said.

While purchasing a T-shirt is the main thing students can do to get involved, they can also come in for a referral, Grant said.

“We want to make sure that they seek referrals when they get injured,” Grant said.

The athletic training program has about 30 members, Bengel said.

“We are there for the preparation of games, and we help our teams with injuries,” she said.

They cover each sport on four or eight-week rotations. Seniors cover a sport for the entire season, Bengel said.

All of the university’s sports programs, as well as some of the high school sports programs in the area, are included.

The athletic training department is open from 1 to 6 p.m. weekdays in McPhee Center.