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Athletic Therapy: Getting Lancers Back in the Game

By: Giulia Barile

For athletes competing at such a high intensity on a daily basis, injuries are an inevitable downfall. Thankfully, the Windsor Lancers have the resources available to bring their players back to top form.

What many University of Windsor students don’t know is that there is a full athletic therapy clinic located right on campus at the St. Denis Centre, with three licensed athletic therapists working inside. This service is free to all varsity athletes, but is open to all students, as well as the general public.

In general, the clinic is open weekdays from 11am until 8pm. Most of the time, it is packed with athletes from various teams who need to treat an injury, get taped, ice after a workout, and so much more.

Wait times for new injuries usually don’t take more than a day, which is very beneficial to athletes. They even have a mobile app called “Jane app” for booking appointments to make it quick and easy.

One of the full time athletic therapists, Dave Stoute, has been working at the clinic for the Lancers for 32 years.

He has been a major part of helping injured Lancer athletes get healthy and strong again. Without this kind of care behind the scenes for athletes, there is no way they are able to achieve optimal personal and team success.

Stoute loves the fact that every day in the clinic is different. Through his experience he has seen a variety of different issues, but loves the challenge of finding new treatments.

“There are no textbook injuries, what might work for one athlete may not work for another,” Stoute explained. “This is good because there is something new every day.”

Fourth-year athlete, Krystin Lawrence, is an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) all-star goaltender for the women’s soccer team while also being the assistant captain and a U Sports all-star for the women’s hockey team.

Only three games into her 2017 soccer season and just beginning her hockey preseason, Lawrence heard a pop in her knee while diving for a penalty shot. The MRI determined it was only an MCL sprain and bone bruise. Painful but it could have been worse.

Although she missed the remainder of the soccer season and will sit out the entire hockey season to focus on recovery, Lawrence knows the physio treatment she is receiving at the athletic therapy clinic will set her up to come back stronger than before.

“I 100% believe they will help me get back to that high level I was competing at before my injury because they are so dedicated in getting me where I need to be and wanting me to be even better than I was before the injury,” Lawrence said.

It is also a huge relief for athletes to know that they can get daily treatments without having to worry about expenses.

“Honestly I am not sure what I would do without this service at the school because personally, I could not afford all the treatments I have already had,” Lawrence said. “I am very thankful to have this opportunity to show up to physio everyday not worrying about if I can afford it or not.”

In her second year working as an athletic therapist for the University of Windsor, Natalie Paladino loves having a job that is so rewarding and makes a difference in people’s lives.

At the end of the day, these are not just athletes. They are people who need their bodies to be healthy in order to perform everyday activities.

Paladino feels that if she can play even the smallest role in getting these high level athletes back in the game and feeling good, all the work is worth it.

“It’s great and rewarding knowing you are a piece of a puzzle that is bettering someone’s life and health as well as getting them back to playing their sport,” Paladino said.

There is really no way to completely prevent injuries unfortunately. But, Paladino and Stoute say that a quiet day at the clinic is a good day for everyone else.

For athletes, it is reassuring knowing that they can push themselves to the limit every day and someone will be there to help them if accidents happen. They are the heroes behind the scenes keeping the Windsor Lancers moving and don’t get recognized enough for all of the work that they do.


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