Among the thousands of volunteers supporting athletes as they compete for medals at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, there is a dedicated group of highly skilled Athletic Therapy graduates and faculty from York University who are working long hours to keep athletes healthy.
Professor Frances Flint, founder and former coordinator of the Athletic Therapy Certificate (ATC) program in the Faculty of Health at York University says that the group’s activities include helping athletes prepare for competition, providing emergency care in the event of an injury, and clinical treatments for the aches and pains that come with high level athletic competition.
According to Flint, there three levels of involvement in the Games for Athletic Therapists, the Core Medical Team, those who are dedicated to a specific sport and the Host Medical corps who provide field of play care at various venues or clinics to all athletes who do not have a medical care, relying instead on the host nation.
Working with the Core Medical Team for the Canadian Olympic Committee, which serves the needs of all Canadian athletes, is York alumna Andrea Prieur. She is part of the Core Medical team and works with Canadian athletes in the Athletes’ Village and at various competition venues. Prieur is the Head Athletic Therapist at the Goldring University Sports Medicine Centre at the University of Toronto. Prior to her involvement in the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, Prieur was part of the Olympic 2012 medical team for Canada as well working on other major athletic competitions.
York alumnus Sebastian Hartell works with the National Sport Federation (NSF) as a dedicated Athletic Therapist. Hartell works full time with the National Men's Volleyball team and was at the Pan Am Games as the dedicated athletic therapist. Helen Holubec is a dedicated Athletic Therapist who works full time for Soccer Canada. Prior to the Pan Am Games, Holubec was involved with the World Cup with the Canadian Women's team. At the Pan Am Games, she worked with the Canadian soccer teams.
Working in the Host Medical corps are Athletic Therapists who provided, and will provide, field of play care at various venues or clinics to any and all Pan Am and Parapan Am athletes who do not have their own medical care, says Flint. “Many teams coming to these Games do not have medical care and they rely on host medical to provide all of their needs,” she says.
Athletic Therapy Certificate alumni from York University are:
- Kyra Lindsay, Pan Am Lead Medical for taekwondo and medical with karate;
- Tyson Campbell, Pan Am Medical for basketball, volleyball and field hockey;
- Lauren Tannenbaum, Pan Am Medical for volleyball;
- Carlie Creed, Pan Am Medical for athletics and tennis;
- Kevin Montgomery, Pan Am Medical for athletics;
- Samantha Washburn, Pan Am Medical for athletics and tennis;
- Carly Goldberg, Pan Am Medical for rugby and swimming and Para Pan Am Medical for athletics;
- Gillian Gilmore, Pan Am Medical for field hockey;
- Jen Mark, Pan Am Medical for field hockey;
- Angela Nardella, Pan Am Medical for beach volleyball, triathlon, marathon and squash;
- Sarmalla Thalagasalam, Pan Am Medical for basketball and volleyball;
- Roville Daniel, Pan Am Medical for baseball;
- Kalina Adams, Pan Am Medical for shooting and at the Nottawasaga Inn Medical Clinic;
- Lily Fan, Pan Am Medical for boxing and at the Athletes' Village Polyclinic;
- Kristin Hodgen, Pan Am Medical for equestrian;
- Christine Mo, Pan Am Medical for athletics and fencing and Para Pan Am Medical for swimming;
- Clare Richards, Pan Am Medical for field hockey;
- Sharon Welsby, Pan Am Medical for gymnastics, road cycling (and refereeing Para Pan Am soccer 7);
- Seadon Pereira, Pan Am Medical for rowing and canoeing;
- Vince Fung, Pan Am Medical at the Athletes' Village Polyclinic;
- Julie Chiu, Pan Am Medical for table tennis;
- Erin Brooks, Pan Am Medical; and,
- Justin Murphy, Pan Am Medical at various Games venues.
Also working at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games are a number of York University faculty.
The Athletic Therapy Certificate faculty volunteering at the Games are:
- Faculty of Health School of Kinesiology & Health Science contract faculty member Gus Kandilas, Lead Medical for karate;
- Acting ATC Coordinator Jessica Patterson, Medical for beach volleyball;
- Incoming ATC Coordinator and new faculty member Professor Loriann Hynes, Pan Am Medical for combative sports and Para Pan Am Medical for goal Ball, cycling and wheelchair rugby;
- Faculty of Health School of Kinesiology and Health Science faculty and York ATC grad Alison Pinto, Pan Am Medical at the Athletes' Village Polyclinic; and,
- Founding ATC Coordinator, Professor Frances Flint, Pan Am Medical for slalom kayak and canoeing, equestrian, athletics and Para Pan Am Lead Medical for table tennis.
"Every healthcare professional volunteering at these Games had to achieve a certain level of expertise in order to work at the Games," said Flint. "All Athletic Therapists from York are also Canadian Red Cross First Responders so they could work both in the clinic at the Games or on the field of play."
An Athletic Therapist assesses injuries and conditions, uses contemporary rehabilitation techniques, physical reconditioning and supportive strapping procedures to promote healing in order to enable a client to return to an active and productive lifestyle.
Athletic Therapy specializes in the prevention and care of musculoskeletal disorders (muscles, bones and joints) especially as they relate to athletics and injury caused by physical activity. Prevention includes musculoskeletal and postural evaluation, equipment selection, fitting and repair, warm up and conditioning programs, prophylactic or supportive taping and adapting to the activity environment and facilities.
York University offers an Athletic Therapy Certificate, for more information, visit the Faculty of Health Athletic Therapy Certificate program website.
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