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History of AT

Old Sports Stadium

In 1965, a small group of Canadians who were National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) members sought out like-minded professionals from across Canada to form a Canadian association similar to the NATA. They formed the Canadian Athletic Trainers Association (CATA). The original 10 founders of the CATA held the first convention and AGM in 1966.


A 1969 Task Force on Sports for Canadians found that elite level athletes were not getting the kind of medical care that was available in other countries (Safai, 2007). After two major games (1968 Mexico Olympics and 1974 Commonwealth Games), the opportunity arose to correct this problem with additional coverage provided by ‘athletic trainers’ and sports therapists (De Conde, 1990) at the 1976 Montréal Olympics (Flint, 2012).

In 1976, at the Annual General Meeting in Kingston, the name of the organization was changed to the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA). Ontario is proud to be the birth place of the AT profession in Canada. The name change was designed to convey the professionalism of Athletic Therapists in the eyes of the public, the government, and, other health care professions. This change in title from ‘trainer’ to ‘therapist’ recognized the specialized role of Athletic Therapists as an integral component of a health care team. In fact, the name change was in time for the use of the title: “Athletic Therapist” at the 1976 Montréal Olympic Games.

What began in 1965 as a small group seeking to develop an Athletic Training profession in Canada is now a strong, functioning health care profession made up of almost 2,500 men and women across Canada. Athletic Therapists moved beyond the gymnasia of academia and the professional ranks to become well qualified clinical and field injury management specialists for all active Canadians.

The OATA Board of Directors acknowledges the tremendous contribution made by the White Paper Task Force with the launch of the Paper at the Pre-AGM reception, Saturday, April 5, 2014. At the launch, each Task Force member was presented with an official plaque of recognition. 

The Task Force Members were joined by Dr. Helena Jaczek, Parliamentary Assistant to the MOHLTC in cutting a celebratory cake at the reception. 



Task Force Team:

Dr. Frances Flint, Dr. Jamie Laws, Joseph Kenny, and Wendy J. Hampson

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