SHU Celebrates Athletic Trainer Appreciation Month

March is Athletic Trainer Appreciation Month, a time to honor the role these professionals play in maintaining the well-being of athletes all around the world.

With an athletic program featuring 33 Division 1 sports, Sacred Heart University (SHU) relies on the expertise of its 13 athletic trainers to ensure the health and performance of its athletes.

“The trust and autonomy from my mentors and the administration here at SHU allowed me to grow as a professional and gave me the confidence I needed to help continue to lead a great department with amazing athletic trainers,” said Sacred Heart head athletic trainer Leo Katsetos.

Katsetos is the head athletic trainer here at Sacred Heart. Katsetos has been with SHU since 2001. In 2005, Katsetos got promoted to associate health athletic trainer and then took over full time duties as head athletic trainer in 2012.

Katsetos commented on what Athletic Trainer Appreciation Month means to her. “It serves as a platform for recognizing the hard work and commitment of athletic trainers who strive each day to provide quality healthcare services to our student-athletes,” said Katsetos.

Two other athletic trainers who work at SHU and are honored this month are Colin Bemis and Stephanie Petery.

Bemis has been with the university for four years and oversees men’s basketball and the women’s cross country teams. He grew up loving sports and the life lessons that came from them.

“When it came down to it, I thought there was not a better profession than athletic training because it allowed me to help individuals and practice medicine while also allowing me to be around sports which have been extremely influential in my life,” said Bemis.

Bemis understands that when treating student athletes, he is not solely treating the injury, but he is also treating the person.

“With this thinking I think it allows you to build such a great relationship with the individual and build the trust that you would do anything for them as a person to help them deal with whatever they are going through,” said Bemis.

Kyle McGee, a senior on the men’s basketball team, thinks Bemis’s approach extends beyond athletics, and his athletes have proven to take notice.

“[Bemis] means a lot to us, he is just somebody I can always rely on,” said McGee. “He is a big part of the team, and we couldn’t win or succeed without him.”

Petery is in her second year working with SHU. She works with the women’s wrestling and men’s volleyball teams. She said she always knew she wanted to work in the medical field, especially with athletes.

“As a college athlete, I suffered a season ending injury my junior season,” said Petery. “During this time, I saw what an integral role athletic trainers play in positively affecting the recovery process for an athlete, both physically and mentally.”

Petery believes she is a part of something special when reflecting on the rest of the athletic training staff at SHU.

“I firmly believe that no other staff in the nation comes to work every day with the energy and optimism about their role in an athlete’s life,” said Petery. “The staff at SHU is intentionally passionate about advocating for the athletic training profession which can be seen through their selfless acts of kindness.”

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