First NATA meeting in 1950 at the Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City where about 200 athletic trainers gathered (left). In 2018, more than 11,000 members, exhibitors and guests attended the 69th NATA Clinical Symposia & AT Expo held in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (right).
In the early 1900s, many early leaders, inventors and sports medicine practitioners were pioneers in their own right and contributed to what is now known as the modern-day athletic training profession. As a result of their efforts, NATA was founded in 1950 and has since expanded over the years to encompass a global membership.
Recognizing the need for a set of professional standards and appropriate professional recognition, NATA has helped to unify athletic trainers across the country by setting a standard for professionalism, education, certification, state regulation, research and practice settings. Members serve as leaders of the association, which has multiple committees working together to advance the profession.
From the humble beginnings of a postal mailing service located at 3315 State St., in Lafayette, Indiana, (used by NATA Secretary and Founding Father of Modern-Day Athletic Training William “Pinky” Newell in the early years to correspond with members), the first NATA office was headquartered in Greenville, North Carolina, starting in 1977. By 1989, the association was rapidly growing and the office was relocated to 2952 N. Stemmons Freeway, in Dallas. In 2014, the office moved again and is currently headquartered at 1620 Valwood Parkway, in Carrollton, Texas. NATA is serviced by a full-time executive director and more than 40 full-time staff members.
For a complete history of NATA and the development of the athletic training profession, visit: