I chose to become an AT after my collegiate career at Arkansas State University had ended. After being involved in sports (specifically golf) my entire life, I wasn’t ready to leave the competitive nature of it. I had bounced from a few jobs (banking, then to a Chiropractic clinic) before I realized I needed something more, more focus, and I knew I needed to help people (I loved that about the Chiro clinic) but not just going room to room.
A gentleman I was dating at the time suggested I apply to Sheridan College for the Sports Injury Management Program (a 3 year diploma). I applied, went for an interview and was enrolled in September of 2002. It was an incredible program, full of like-minded, driven individuals always pushing the envelope. I was able to experience the grassroots of AT school, high-school football and hockey teams, collegiate badminton, volleyball and fastpitch teams, as well as the clinical side where by we could actually treat our athletes from onset of injury to full recovery. It was the most rewarding experience I could ask for! The sincerity, trust, and confidence the athletes in my care had for me, as much as I had for them was all I needed. I truly loved what I was doing.
I realized it was more than just the injury, it was the whole person I was treating. Having been a scholarship athlete, I knew what it was like to “perform” or “work” for my scholarship. I was aware of the requirements, the balance of sport and school, and the emotional/psychological component. I felt this personal experience was an exceptional way to truly share my passion and experience with the athletic population.
I set up my own AT clinic in Orillia upon graduation and had secured an Athletic Therapist position with Orillia Terriers Jr. A Hockey Club for the 2005-06 hockey season. I was able to marry the “field/on ice component of competitive sport” with that of “clinic” (my office was located in a local well established gym) of active individuals all ages, all abilities, all wanting to be better and willing to listen to and be guided by a newly graduated Orillia local.
AT is an “active” assessment, treatment and therapy based discipline. It is very much based upon musculoskeletal or movement based therapy. We look at the whole person, finding the cause and treating the cause.
I chose to further my education by enrolling at OCHT (Ontario College of Health and Technology) for their advanced standing Massage Therapy program in 2007. Upon graduation in 2008, I had made the transition to working for Honsberger Physio+ in the Markham and Aurora locations and closed my personal clinic in Orillia. It was a big year. My husband opened his own hockey training facility called Shoot The Puck, in Barrie, on family day 2008, I wrote and successfully completed by RMT written and practical exam, and got married in October of that same year. It was a lot, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.
Throughout the years I have added to my skillset, knowledge and understanding as well as my techniques toolbox. I am beyond appreciative for the “dual role” that I get to uphold. The best of both worlds they say. I look forward to meeting and motivating my clients through the rehabilitation and wellness journey.
Written by: REBECCA (BECKY) SARJEANT, Certified Athletic Therapist + Registered Massage Therapist