QU’s first ‘Walk for Thought’

By on November 18, 2009

The Athletic Training Club paired with the Brain Injury Association of Connecticut (BIAC) to put on Quinnipiac’s first Walk for Thought, raising approximately $5,400 on Nov. 8.

With only about four weeks to plan the event, the walk was a great success. The AT Club, which consists of athletic training students at Quinnipiac, organized the event to help the local community and raise money to send its seniors to the Southeastern Athletic Training Association’s annual meeting. The AT Club strives to promote an awareness of athletic training by hosting on- and off-campus events and participating in community service.

But what exactly is athletic training?

“Athletic training encompasses the prevention, diagnosis, and intervention of emergency, acute, and chronic medical conditions involving impairment, functional limitations, and disabilities,” said athletic training professor and faculty advisor of the AT Club Susan Norkus. “To become nationally certified, athletic trainers must have a bachelor’s degree and pass a comprehensive national board exam.”

When the AT club decided to give half of their donations to a local charity, they contacted Melinda McKeown from BIAC. She was thrilled by the news.

“We were completely surprised and excited! It isn’t very often that someone calls and tells us they want to host a fundraiser for BIAC,” she said.

BIAC is a non-profit organization which gives support to people with brain injuries and tries to raise awareness and prevention. Throughout the year they host fundraisers like Walk for Thought, Blue Jeans Fundraiser, Flat Bread Fundraiser and a Bike-a-thon.

“As athletic trainers, one of our primary goals is prevention of injury and education, and brain injury is a very severe and common injury that we see in athletics,” Norkus said. “It’s a great partnership for our club.”

Those who participated received pledges for the amount of miles they walked and made donations. Proceeds were split between the AT Club and BIAC. Participants who paid the $15 registration fee received a Quinnipiac Nalgene bottle, Walk for Thought bracelet and raffle tickets. Also included was a barbecue cooked by the athletic training faculty.

After the walkers stopped and lunch was eaten, it was time for the raffles. The AT Club raffled off exciting prizes including tickets to a Rangers game, self-defense classes, a dozen doughnuts a month for three months from Whitney Donuts, and a signed QU hockey jersey.

“I think the walk went extremely well! It was a beautiful day and everything was so organized,” McKeown said.

The AT Club was equally pleased with the outcome of the event. Nearly all the students volunteered in some way, either by donating, planning or participating.

“The walk exceeded all of my expectations but there’s still potential for improvement,” said junior athletic training major Matt Mills, who helped plan this year’s event. “Next year, we hope to have entertainment around the course, involve more campus groups, and hopefully have even better raffle prizes.”

The AT Club hopes to make the Walk for Thought an annual event that will continue to grow and help raise awareness for a good cause.

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