We continue to hope everyone is well in this summer.
We have introduced JATO member to share their stories on our Facebook and web page (Blog Section) on the 15th every month.
Last month, we had an enthusiastic interview with Mr. Iwasaki. This month, we had a very heart-warming interview with Mr. Izumi, former JATO President. Please enjoy!
Atsuhiko Takei and Toshimitsu Ishizuka, JATO Public Relation Committee
Q. Can you tell us how you got interested in becoming an athletic trainer?
A. I got interested in an athletic trainer when I was in high school and read the article on Gekkan Basketball, a Japanese basketball magazine. It was written by Ms. Taeko Ishii who studied abroad in the U.S. as a student trainer, and she wrote about Mr. Shikakura’s athletic taping workshop, NATA Annual Meeting and information she learned at Ohio University (OU). I was impressed with her articles and I took Mr. Shikakura’s taping workshop in Osaka when I was junior in high school. And, I got a stronger feeling that I wanted to be an athletic trainer. After thirty years, I got an opportunity to have a meal with Ms. Ishii, Mr. Skip Vosler, the Head Athletic Trainer at OU, and Mr. Shikakura at NATA Meeting in St. Louis.
Q. What is your best memory when you were a student?
A. My best memories are my friends and mentors who I met in various places (Seattle, Athens, OH and San Antonio) when I lived in those places as a student. I have kept in touch with them since then. Especially, Seattle is my favorite city with great memories where I first lived in U.S. and my friends introduced me to the area after I graduated from high school. After thirty years, I visit Seattle with my family once a year and contact my ESL teacher. When I was in college in Athens, where I lived for the longest time in the U.S., I made many friends maybe because I was the only international student in the department. At that time, there was Dr. Chad Starkey (OU Graduate Post Professional AT Program Director) in PhD program, Ms. Sara Brown (Boston University AT Program Director, former BOC President) was his assistant and Mr. David Kerns (West Virginia University Head Football Athletic Trainer) in the AT program under Mr. Skip Vosler. Also, in my class were Dr. Eric Fuchs (Eastern Kentucky University AT Program Director, former President for Kentucky Athletic Trainers’ Society), Jennifer Brodeur (University of Massachusetts Head Football Athletic Trainer, former President for Eastern Athletic Trainers’ Association), and Dr. Robin Ploeger (University of Tulsa, Dean of the College of Health Sciences). They took care of me and helped me study well. I’m not sure but that might be because I was the first Japanese person they meet. Since then, they have taught many Japanese students in their careers after we graduated.
Q. Can you tell us what your work is like now?
A. I have taught athletic training and health fitness at Tokyo Ariake Univesity of Medical and Health Sciences as a full-time faculty since 2010.
Q. Can you tell us what your day is like?
A. Since our AT program is a supplementary course, classes and clinical practices begin in the evening or at night after health science classes (Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion and Department of Judo Therapy). Occasionally, classes finish around 8 pm, and there are classes on Saturday. During a weekend, I work at professional football games in X2 League as a part of students’ clinical experiences, and I accompany students to go to clinical sites where other athletic trainers work.”
Q. What does JATO mean to you?
A. “JATO seems like my child as I was a part of starting it, and as an athletic trainer, I personally feel like JATO is my home and where I belong to. After the end of my term as President, I watch over how JATO grows as a member now.
Q. Can you tell us what advantages are to join JATO?
A. “With the keyword of NATA-ATC, JATO has the best knowledge of the athletic training field in the world and network. Also, JATO has dedicated professionals who are knowledgeable about athletic training and health, staying up-to-date with the information. I believe that it is beneficial to be a member of such a rare organization. JATO can promote athletic training to the public as the Official NATA Affiliate in Japan as the only official point of contact for NATA in Japan.
Q. Can you give a message to students who want to be athletic trainers?
A. “The world has changed dramatically and fast. There are many young people who are active worldwide. I would like students to meet with a lot of people through studying athletic training and enjoy student life without losing the good character of Japanese.”
We would like to thank Mr. Izumi for sharing his time with us for the interview. The interview reminds us that JATO couldn’t exist without him. And, we will continue pursuing his goals and be more active in activities.
Next month, we will have a nice lady who has significantly contributed to JATO’s development for a long time as the JATO Bureau Chief. Don’t miss it!