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 SRU Student to Become Czech Republic's First Certified Athletic Trainer 



March 11, 2003

CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine (724) 738-4854;  e-mail:


           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University has established itself as a leader in the preparation of athletic trainers and will soon achieve another international milestone.

           The Rock, which has been training prospective athletic trainers for 30 years, is on the brink of sending into the professional field the Czech Republic’s first certified athletic trainer.

           According to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Marketa Schublova, a 28-year-old native of Prague, will be the trend-setting recipient of the Athletic Training Certification. While March is National Athletic Training Month in the United States, Schublova will become a groundbreaker back home because the professional and Olympic sports programs don’t employ specialists.

           “We don’t have athletic trainers,” Schublova, an SRU senior who will graduate in May, says. “I’ll probably go into the pros, in ice hockey or soccer.”

Highly motivated

            Schublova acknowledges she is a long way from home – 9,000 miles. “It takes me 20 hours on an airplane, door-to-door, to get home,” she says. But she doesn’t view the distance, or the language barrier, as obstacles. If anything, they add a layer of determination, a “motivation to finish,” she says.

          She came to SRU four years ago on a basketball scholarship. She was named as a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete during 2000-2001. She eventually traded her basketball scholarship for a full-tuition academic scholarship.”

           “I was recruited by some other colleges to play basketball, but SRU had an outstanding Athletic Training Program and that influenced my decision,” she said. “Without the scholarship, there’s no way, being from the Czech Republic, that I could have found the money to go here. And, I would never be able to go through the program without the help of our certified athletic trainers. They take time out of their busy schedules to help me. Other student athletic trainers are a big help also; you have to be part of the team to go through a program like this.”

Mounting reputation for excellence

Schublova is part of an enhanced Athletic Training Program at SRU. Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education board of governors recently approved a 120-credit major in athletic training, upgrading an area of specialization that has been offered for 29 years. Forty-two students are enrolled. Graduates find work at high schools, colleges, clinics and hospitals. The University of Pittsburgh, Duquesne University and Grove City College have hired SRU graduates to become head athletic trainers.

Athletic trainers provide the first round of injury assessment and treatment at sports events. They also help athletes rehabilitate and recondition after injuries, and they help develop prevention programs.

According to Dr. Susan Hannam, chair of the department of exercise and rehabilitative sciences, graduates of SRU’s Athletic Training Program have achieved a 100 percent placement rate in one of their top three choices for employment, graduate school or physical therapy schools. Nearly 75 percent of recent graduates have enrolled in either graduate or professional school.

Editor’s Note: Schublova is available for interviews. University Public Relations can provide a telephone number and e-mail address. An electronic photograph is also available.

##PN, PgN, PR

Harrisburg Patriot-News

AP Pittsburgh

Chronicle of Higher Education





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