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Recognizing and honoring the excellence and expertise of athletic trainers all throughout the country, National Athletic Training Month brings awareness to this important role that is played in the care and development of athletes of all ages and levels. 

History of National Athletic Training Month

As sports and athletics programs grew throughout the 19th century, the need for athletic trainers developed over the years. The first official athletic trainer in the United States was considered to be Jim Robinson, an immigrant from the UK who was originally trained as a veterinary assistant but later worked for Harvard as their first football and track “trainer” in the late 1800s.

As professional and collegiate sports grew in size and scope, so did the need for trained and qualified athletic trainers. Specializing in training and prevention as well as diagnosis and treatment of injury, today’s athletic trainers can handle emergency and non-emergency situations that come out of physical activity or sports. These frontline healthcare providers may be on-site at sporting events, or they might work out of clinics or hospitals that provide rehabilitative care.

The first National Athletic Training Month took place in 2001 when it was founded by the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA). This organization was founded in 1950 as an official professional members association specifically for certified athletic trainers, and each year this group sponsors the events. A proud moment for the organization came in 1972 when the first female athletic trainer was certified by NATA.

The purpose behind National Athletic Training Month is to bring attention to and raise awareness about the vital impact that these professionals have not only on the careers and successes of individual athletes, but also for sports as a whole.

Each year, NATA brings attention to this special event by providing unique taglines or themes with which the people who are celebrating can connect. Consider some of the past themes for National Athletic Training Month:

  • From Head to Toe
  • There’s an AT for That
  • Providing Healthcare Everywhere
  • Athletic Trainers Impact Health Care Through Action

How to Celebrate National Athletic Training Month

It’s easy to make a big deal out of someone who is great at their job by celebrating National Athletic Training Month with some of these ideas:

Thank an Athletic Trainer

Sports coaches, athletes and fans can all agree that having an athletic trainer on site can make a huge difference in the safety and well-being of those who participate in sports. National Athletic Training Month is a great time to say a big “thank you” to an athletic trainer in your sphere with a card, a phone call, an email or a small gift to show how much they are appreciated!

Raise Awareness for Athletic Trainers

Let the world know how amazing a specific athletic trainer is by sharing something amazing about them and posting it online. Whether it’s a photo of a family member who is an athletic trainer or a 5-star online review of an amazing AT, share the love and let others know how amazing they are in celebration of National Athletic Training Month.

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