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Students shadow athletic trainers for a day

Twelve students from five area high schools attended Athletic Training Job Shadow Day at Troy State University Wednesday. Most of them came away seriously considering athletic training as a career, said

Charles Henderson High School senior Shakita Berry.

"I want to go into some health field and I like sports," Berry said. "One of my teachers said athletic training is a combination of sports and health care. That's why I came."

Berry wanted to find out more about the program and to see if the program might be one she wanted to consider.

"I was very impressed with the facilities and the program," Berry said. "I was surprised, too. I didn't realize what a big thing athletic training is. There was so much going and all of the senior students that we shadowed seemed to really enjoy what they were doing and were very good at it."

Berry said she is much more interested in pursuing a career in athletic training now that she knows more about it.

"I'm still not sure what I want to do but I know that most of those I heard talking are really considering being athletic trainers," she said.

Kelsey McLemore of Mobile will graduate from TSU athletic training program in May and will attend the University of Alabama as a graduate assistant with the soccer team.

She chose TSU because its athletic training staff is "legendary."

"The staff is excellent and Troy State's athletic training program has an outstanding reputation," she said. "I have learned so much and gained a lot of experience that will be valuable in whatever direction my training takes me."

Dr. Amanda Andrews, assistant professor of athletic training, said graduates of the program are qualified to work as athletic trainers in high schools, colleges and in professional sports. They may also work in clinics.

"It's a wide open field and a growing field," she said. "We have eight seniors who will graduate from the four-year program in May and they were in charge of Job Shadow Day. We invited high school students from the area to participate in the day's activities as a way of introducing them to the program. We conducted labs that included taping lessons, the basics of modalities and general rehabilitation. We wanted them to see what it is that we do in practice."

Several alumni of the program were featured speakers and Larry Blakeney , TSU football coach also spoke to the group.

The group was treated to lunch at the Stadium Club level of the press box. After lunch, a representative from the university admissions office talked to the students about the admission process and scholarship opportunities. The group was also given a tour of the campus.

"I think everybody was impressed with everything," Berry said. "Troy State is a beautiful campus and learning about the athletic training program really got everyone interested. It really gave us something to think about."