Did you know that the month of March serves as National Athletic Training Month?
Throughout March, organizations that utilize athletic trainers spread knowledge, information, and resources surrounding athletic training to educate the public about the importance of this profession. This year, the National Athletic Trainer’s Association (NATA) created the slogan “ATs Are Health Care.” NATA explains why this is a fitting slogan for this year’s month when it states, "from preventative services and injury assessment to emergency care and rehabilitation, athletic trainers provide an unmatched continuum of health care for little leaguers, professional athletes, military personnel, astronauts and every physically demanding role in between."
Here at Lake Forest College, the Athletic Department has three incredible athletic trainers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to provide constant health care to our student-athletes. Their role, which often requires early mornings and late evenings, has a huge impact on the success the Foresters achieve each year. During National Athletic Training Month, the department would like to recognize athletic trainers Mike Gilboe, Lauren Flood, and Greg Liwanag.
First off, we have our Head Athletic Trainer Mike Gilboe, who joined the staff in 2001. He completed his undergraduate degree in physical education and athletic training/exercise science from Arkansas State University in 1996 and earned his master’s degree in physical education and health and recreation in from Illinois State University two years later. "I sort of fell into athletic training as a profession because of my friends," he explains. "They all played football, and while I did not want to play, I still wanted to be around the team. I became a student worker for the team and learned about athletic training as a career from the coach. It seemed like a great opportunity to continue being involved in sports and around athletes." In total, he has 23 years of experience as an athletic trainer, making him an extremely experienced, knowledgeable, and valuable asset to our student-athletes on campus.
Next, we have Assistant Athletic Trainer Lauren Flood. Flood became a Forester in 2018 through the Illinois Bone and Joint Institute. She received her bachelors of science degree in athletic training from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2015, and then earned her masters of science degree in athletic training from Western Michigan University in 2017. "Student-athlete success is my success, and I love making a difference in the well-being of our students," shared Flood when asked what her favorite part of being an athletic trainer is. "I think I have one of the coolest jobs because it combines sports with helping others." Clearly, she is passionate about her career and the work she does and serves as a useful resource to each of our student-athletes here.
Finally, the third member of the team is Assistant Athletic Trainer Greg Liwanag. Liwanag joined our campus community in 2018 through Illinois Bone and Joint Institute after completing his bachelors of science degree in athletic training that same year from Northern Illinois University. For Greg, the best part of being an athletic trainer is, "seeing an athlete from the first time they are injured all the way through to their return to play or helping them to figure out a special technique that allows them to play through any pain." Even as the newest member of the staff, Liwanag has made an immense impact on the well-being of our student-athletes, and has made the athletic training rooms more positive and enjoyable for those who need to use them.
All three of our Forester athletic trainers work endlessly in creating a positive environment for student-athletes through preventative care and continuous support. We are grateful for the work that they put in and the many contributions that they have made, and continue to make, to our student-athlete population. If you see an athletic trainer today, this week, this month, or any time in the future, make a point of saying thank you for the work they do, and for continuing to be such a great resource to our department!