Athletic therapists keep Hawks athletes in the game

by | Mar 24, 2014 | Sports

Ari Salas
Sports Reporter

Humber’s often-overlooked athletic therapists keep varsity athletes off the injury bench by focusing on three main elements: prevention, on-field care and recovery.

“Right from the injury to being back on the court and maintaining after that,  we go through all the stages of rehab and get you back there,” said Carlie Creed, a third year athletic therapy certificate student.

Two certified athletic therapists supervise Creed along with four other certificate students from York University and Sheridan College at the North campus.

The students and certified professionals work closely with Humber’s varsity athletes to target the essential pieces of athletic therapy, said Melanie Evens, a certified athletic and massage therapist.

“Athletic therapists basically do the assessment, treatment and rehabilitation in the clinical setting, but also emergency field-side care,” said Evens.

Evens said athletic therapists study the athlete’s body mechanics looking for strengths and weaknesses, as well as balances and alignments to prevent injuries.

When a player is injured on the field they begin clinical treatment and rehabilitation. Final year community and justice services student Reasa Bowen-Charles underwent this process after a rugby injury.

“Taping, wrapping, icing, massage, ultrasound. It’s a painful process,” she said. “I got to play in my final game at Humber so that was great. They really cared about me.”

Bowen-Charles recovered in time for rugby nationals, but serious injuries mean serious rehabilitation efforts.

Teammate Mataya Pasley said it will be several months before she can return to the field after she suffered a concussion. She said the athletic therapy team is extremely thorough, taking no risks with student recovery.

Creed and Evens agree the most annoying part of their job is being confused with physiotherapists.

“Athletic therapists are the ones you see with teams, everyone calls us physios. We’re specialized in sport, we do a lot of on-site field care,” said Creed.

Field-side care is perhaps the most crucial element of athletic therapy.

When a player collapses during play it’s up to the on-site athletic therapist to respond and stabilize the situation. All athletic therapists are first-responder trained, said Evens.

Creed said the hard work she puts in is to see the players on the court.

“If they work as hard for us, come in and stay on top of it, it makes me happy.”