Wheeling Jesuit University, along with thousands of colleges, universities and organizations around the country, have joined together to celebrate athletic training month.
To contribute to the mission of helping others, students are hosting a shoe drive on campus. So far, about two dozen shoes have been collected. The goal is 100 new or gently used pairs. All shoes will be donated via donateyourshoes.org, which will disperse them to the needy.
On March 29, during the first WJU Community Day, a presentation will be made for the public called "What is an athletic trainer?"
"The month is all about the appreciation of the profession and promoting what athletic trainers do. A lot of times we find that people confuse us with a physical therapist or a bodybuilding trainer, so the month is all about showcasing our occupation," said WJU Clinical Education Coordinator Joe Shaffer.
On April 8, during WJU's annual student research and scholarship daylong symposium, trainers will give free 5-10 minute massages on campus. The trainers also plan to have a competitive version of the hit NBC show "The Biggest Loser" on the WJU campus.
"Other departments have done ‘The Biggest Loser' challenge on campus, and it has been very successful," Shaffer said. "We want to get students, faculty and staff involved and see how they do with getting in shape."
This year's theme by the National Athletic Trainers' Association is, "We got your back." The principle is to get the athletic population to understand that athletic trainers are there to protect athletes and get them back to their sport.
Currently, 53 students are enrolled in the athletic training program at WJU. All events planned by the athletic training department are free; however donations will be accepted to help the Athletic Training Club.