Organization Bestows Highest Honor to Leaders in Profession
INDIANAPOLIS, June 12 – The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), a not-for-profit organization representing and supporting 30,000 members of the athletic training profession, will induct five certified athletic trainers (ATCs) into its prestigious Hall of Fame during its 56 th annual meeting in Indianapolis. The honorees will be recognized for their significant contributions on the state, regional and national levels, at the 2005 Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 15, at the Indiana Convention Center. Nominated and selected by their athletic training peers, all the new inductees have been active NATA members for at least 25 years. Their professional excellence, volunteer service and community outreach have distinguished them. The “2005 NATA Hall of Fame Class” includes: Gerald W. “Jerry” Bell, EdD, ATC, PT (Urbana, Ill.), Pete Carlon, MSEd, ATC (Arlington, Texas), Kathleen Laquale, PhD, ATC, LDN (Barrington, R.I.),Tony Marek, MS, ATC (Reno, Nev.) and Rod Walters, DA, ATC (Lexington, S.C.). Bell will soon be retiring as program director/assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ill. For more than 30 years, he has provided athletic training services for Olympic-level distance swimmers and U.S. swimming teams throughout the world. For more than 15 years, he played a vital role in helping Illinois athletic trainers gain licensure. He has served on numerous NATA program accreditation committees and received many honors and awards, including the Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award in 1996. Carlon is director of athletics at the University of Texas in Arlington, where he leads efforts aimed at enhancing the profile and status of the athletic training profession. He is among the first athletic trainers to hold the position of director of athletics for a NCAA Division I institution. He has served two terms on the NATA board of directors, and chaired the search committee that recruited the current NATA Executive Director Eve Becker-Doyle. Laquale is currently on sabbatical from Bridgewater State College in Bridgewater Mass., where she is an associate professor/program director. After receiving her master’s degree from Indiana State University, she became the first female athletic trainer and cross country/track and field coach for women at Providence College in Providence, R.I. Laquale is currently writing a textbook on dietary practices of wrestlers. She has served two terms on the NATA board of directors, traveled to Japan and Australia to represent the NATA and volunteered at the 1996 Olympic Games. Marek is an athletic trainer with Manual Therapy & Associates in Reno, Nev. and also with the Extreme Sports Medicine/Professional Bull Riders in Colorado Springs, Colo. He is currently spending much of his time as a continuing education lecturer. He has served two terms on the NATA board of directors. As an athletic trainer, the highlight of his career was caring for the University of Arizona baseball team that won the national championship in 1980. Walters has been an assistant athletics director for sports medicine at the University of South Carolina in Lexington, S.C. since 1997. He is a highly sought-after public speaker and after serving two terms on the NATA board of directors, remains active in his professional association as well. “These certified athletic trainers deserve to be recognized for their achievements,” says NATA Executive Director Eve Becker-Doyle, CAE. “They join the more than 200 other remarkable ATCs in the NATA Hall of Fame, who are an inspiration to all of us.” “On behalf of the entire NATA, we congratulate the Class of 2005,” says Tom Abdenour, MA, ATC, NATA Honors & Awards Committee Chair. “They do us proud.” About the NATA: Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) are unique health care providers who specialize in the prevention, assessment, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses that occur to athletes and the physically active. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 30,000 members of the athletic training profession through education and research. www.nata.org. NATA, 2952 Stemmons Freeway, Ste. 200, Dallas, TX 75247, 214.637.6282; 214.637.2206 (fax).