Emerging Settings in Athletic Training: Paralympics Athletic Trainer

Name: Aaron Galpert, MS.Ed, ATC, SCAT

Location: Charleston, South Carolina 

Organization: Medical University of South Carolina

Certified Since: 1980

Education: MS.Ed in Sports Medicine from The University of Akron, 1981 and BS.Ed  in Physical Education from The University of Akron, 1980

Additional Certifications: Graston Technique 

Honors: 2017 NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award, Ohio Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame member

Aaron received the NATA Athletic Trainer Service Award at the 2017 NATA Convention

Our final Athletic Trainer in our National Athletic Training Month 2022 series on Emerging Settings in Athletic Training features Aaron Galpert, MS.Ed., ATC, SCAT, who currently works as an Athletic Trainer at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Aaron has a broad range of experiences in athletic training beyond traditional settings. His traditional roles have included working for Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Akron in Ohio and the University Hospitals Health Systems, which placed Aaron as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Cleaveland Force professional indoor soccer team from 2002-2005.

Aaron has also served in many leadership roles as the Coordinator of Sports Medicine for the University Hospitals Health Systems, the Clinical Director of Rehab, Sports Health and Rehab for Portage Physical Therapists, and the Supervisor of Athletic Trainer Services for Children’s Hospital Sports Rehab. Beyond Aaron’s traditional and leadership roles, he’s had exciting experiences with the Harlem Globetrotters as well as the Head Athletic Trainer from 2011-2012. 

Harlem Globe Trotters

For NATM, Aaron shared with us his unique experience as the Head Athletic Trainer for the U.S. National Paralympic Soccer team. The team operates through the U.S. Soccer Federation and participates in events beyond the Paralympic games, including the Intercontinental Cup, Copa America, World Championships, and the Parapan American Games. Team members may have varying degrees of impairments such as diplegia, hemiplegia, triplegia, quadriplegia, monoplegia, dystonia, athetosis, ataxia, balance issues, or coordination issues. Athletes must be ambulant (no assistive walking aids) in order to participate. “Just watching the effort these Paralympic athletes performed at made this job a unique experience. I liked getting to travel internationally,” said Aaron. “My least favorite part of the job was being unable to help them with their disabilities.” 

Aaron with his team

As a seasoned athletic trainer, Aaron has a lot of valuable experience and advice for students and athletic trainers just starting their careers. “Athletic training is not an hourly job. It can swallow you up if you let it, so allow for ‘me’ time.” For athletic trainers who are looking for similar, unique opportunities like those that Aaron has had, he said, “Do as much as you can to help anyone in the organization. Don’t make your job too specific. It goes both ways.” 

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