January 14, 2015
West Chester athletic training major Amy Toner has a free ride to the National Athletic Trainers Association convention in St. Louis in June. She won a national social media contest that NATA designed to promote its 2015 convention.
A junior from Rock Hill, S.C., Toner submitted one of three West Chester entries that made it to the top 15 finalists.
Using the hashtag #ATsAre, NATA student members were invited to submit a word and photo that best describes athletic trainers. A description on NATA's website states that the contest "was built around the philosophy that there are many words that can be used to describe athletic trainers, but only one word that brings them all together: convention."
Toner's winning entry, "#ATsAre Goal Oriented," featured WCU's field hockey starting goalie Sarah Krause.
"We are a pretty competitive major so when we saw other schools with multiple entries we decided to try to get as many WCU entries as possible," Toner explains. "Our student athletic training club organized it with Cory Gentile as our social media chair."
Among the finalists was a shot of the WCU gymnastics team, posing with athletic training majors Siena Childs (junior), Sam Eddinger (senior), and Ashley Errickson (graduate assistant) on the balance beam. Eight people were holding cards that read "balanced." The other finalist was submitted by Alex Bowers (junior) and Cory Gentile (senior) and featured WCU men's basketball.
Additional WCU entries highlighted the Golden Rams football and women's basketball teams as well as students at local high schools.
Toner credits athletic training instructor Nicole Cattano with the inspiration for the students' increasing involvement in "all things athletic training. She fuels our competitive spirit and encourages us to be proud of our program. With her help, we have started getting more involved as a program by taking part in campaigns like National Athletic Training month, applying for scholarships, and entering contests (like #ATsAre)."
Members of the athletic training club, including Toner, attended the Pennsylvania Athletic Trainers Association student symposium last year. But she will be the only student flying to, staying at and attending the NATA convention for free when it convenes June 23 - 26 in St. Louis.