Chance encounter sets new career path for Brock grad

Katie Cameron (BPhEd ’23) arrived at Brock University determined to become a teacher.

But her time with Brock Sports Medicine (BSM), an on-campus clinic specializing in rehabilitation and injuries sustained during athletic activities, has inspired her to set a new course.

Cameron graduated Wednesday, June 14 with a Bachelor of Physical Education and a passion for injury rehabilitation and care sparked by her experience with BSM.

“I came to realize in a lot of ways how athletic therapy and teaching overlap. For me, the ideal career lies somewhere in between,” she said. “My time at Brock was a massive growth period for me. I became a completely new, better version of myself, and I owe a lot of that to my involvement in sports medicine.”

Originally from New Dundee, Ont., Cameron attended the University of Ottawa before transferring to Brock to enrol in a Concurrent Teacher Education program with a focus on Physical Education.

“The program at Brock stood out to me because of all the experiential education options integrated into the program,” she said. “I also was drawn to how focused Brock was on student experience, wellness and success.”

With her mind set on becoming a teacher, athletic therapy wasn’t on Cameron’s radar until she stumbled on the role while attending a Brock volleyball game during first year.

“I saw the student therapists working the sidelines and I was immediately intrigued by that job, so I asked how could apply and put my name forward,” she said.

The following year, Cameron worked with the men’s rugby team in the fall and men’s volleyball team in the winter.

“Pursuing this profession means that I can play a role in an athlete’s success and help them stay healthy and in the best shape to excel in their respective sport,” she said.

Cameron studied everything she could about the field. One aspect of Sports Medicine she prioritized was building strong connections with student-athletes.

It’s one of the many lessons she learned from her mentor, Lead Athletic Therapist Kelsey Marshall, during the rugby and volleyball seasons.

“I attribute my development in Sports Medicine to Kelsey Marshall. She took the time out of her busy schedule to teach me as much as possible about sideline and clinical treatment,” Cameron said. “She provided me opportunities to grow and push myself out of my comfort zone.”

BSM staff typically work with Kinesiology students, but the team was impressed with Cameron’s interview and high level of emergency care.

“It’s been rewarding to see Katie grow in other areas like problem solving through injury management and leadership skills within our staff training sessions,” Marshall said. “She has been an invaluable member of our BSM team. She brings an infectious positive attitude and palpable energy to every interaction.”

In April, Cameron was honoured during the 2022-23 Brock Sports Awards Gala with the Joseph P. Kenny Student Therapist Award of Excellence for her student therapist work with the Brock men’s rugby and men’s volleyball teams.

During her time at Brock, Cameron has served as a member of the Brock University Students’ Union First Aid Responder team and on Brock Recreation’s aquatics staff. She has also volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of North and West Niagara and the Learning Disabilities Association of Niagara Region.

Cameron’s goal after graduation is to work towards a bachelor’s or master’s degree in athletic therapy.

“In a perfect world, I would work at a high school which specializes in athletic performance and development so I could continue to work in education while also getting to work on the sidelines to support athletes.”

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