In honor of Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, the NATA Now blog will highlight some of our Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders at the state, district and national levels throughout May.
As president of the Hawaii Athletic Trainers’ Association, Reid Takano, ATC, has looked to the future and worked to ensure the volunteers working alongside him are prepared with steady community partnerships and support.
“I tasked myself to set HATA up for the future, provide some education and, hopefully, have some fun doing it,” he said. “Iʻm constantly asking members of our association, ‘Whoʻs next?’ With these partnerships and events in place, I hope to set up future HATA leaders with a firm foundation for continued growth.”
A secondary school athletic trainer in Hawaii, Takano, who also sits on the Far West Athletic Trainers’ Association Ethnic Diversity Advisory Committee, sees the value of leadership and volunteering in athletic training.
“It’s a means to promote ourselves as an important part of a health care team. Leaders are the voice of the membership, who look to grow and improve the association and profession,” he said, emphasizing the importance of community involvement, as well.
Read on for more insights from Takano on leadership, volunteering and representation in the profession.
How did you get involved with giving back to the profession and why?
My first “gig” with the Hawaii Athletic Trainers’ Association was as the Student Athletic Trainer Aide Workshop Committee co-chair. I also served on our Golf Tournament Committee. It wasn’t until 2013 that I really got my feet wet in leadership and was elected as HATA secretary, then vice president and now I’m closing out my second term as HATA president.
Jokingly, I say I do it because the first 20 people who were asked declined the nomination. Athletic trainers in Hawaii are a very tight-knit group. I know I have the support of mentors and former leaders. I surround myself with a leadership team that share the vision of promoting the profession and increasing our worth.
Tell us about your current role as HATA president and what you hope to accomplish in this role.
I tasked myself to set HATA up for the future, provide some education and hopefully have some fun doing it. Through corporate sponsorships and the very hard work of our committee, this month’s HATA Golf Tournament has become our largest fundraiser by far. In June, HATA is collaborating with Hawaiʻi Pacific Health and the Hawaiʻi Concussion Awareness Management Program in presenting the first Hawaiʻi Sports Medicine Summit. Weʻve secured a variety of excellent speakers that are presenting over a two-day program.
Iʻm constantly asking members of our association, “Whoʻs next?” With these partnerships and events in place, I hope to set up future HATA leaders with a firm foundation for continued growth.
Why is leadership and service important to you?
We all gradually transition from a young professional to a veteran. For myself, that transition wasnʻt so obvious, I never thought myself a veteran or seasoned athletic trainer until that first nomination.
Leadership is important in ensuring our profession and association progresses in an ever-changing and advancing field.
How does representation, especially in leadership, impact the profession?
Representation helps in addressing the issues of a diverse membership. Hawaii has always been referred to as a melting pot of cultures, our association is a direct reflection of that. As a Part-Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, I feel more in tune with the specific concerns or our culture, such as, for example, protecting our natural resources and perpetuating our language. Representation gives us greater diversity and a broader perspective.
Why is it important for ATs to get involved in leadership and service?
“If not you, then who?” Athletic training provides many opportunities for many people. Volunteering and serving is a way to give back to the profession. It’s a means to promote ourselves as an important part of a health care team. Leaders are the voice of the membership, who look to grow and improve the association and profession.
What words of encouragement would you give to another AT who would like to grow as a leader?
I started off as a quiet voice at the back of the room …Just do it! Start small. Find a committee that interests you, serve on it as a member or chair a committee. Take advantage of the opportunities you’re given. If you’re not sure, seek help. You’ll always have the support of leaders before you!