AT of the Month - Dave Blatz ~ Manitoba Athletic Therapists Association

AT of the Month - Dave Blatz

MATA AT of the Month - November 2014

The MATA would like to intoduce the AT of the Month for November 2014 Dave Blatz. Dave brings with him 15 years of experience in the sports therapy field. He is the owner of the Eastman Therapy Centre in Steinbach, Manitoba, which specializes in musculoskeletal injuries. Along with his clinical duties, he is the Head Athletic Therapist for Team Canada Baseball, Team Canada Soccer (U23 Men's Olympic Team / U20 Junior World Cup Team), as well as an Assistant Athletic Therapist with Rowing Canada. Previously, Dave served as the Head Athletic Therapist with Team Canada Men’s Volleyball from 2002-2009.

Dave has enjoyed working with some of the country's elite athletes having been selected to the Health and Sport Science Mission Staff for the 2007 Pan American Games (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), 2011 Pan American Games (Guadalajara, Mexico), and 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics (Beijing, China). Furthermore, Dave was selected as a member of the VANOC Host Medical Team for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics providing medical coverage for Men’s/Women’s Ice Hockey. Dave has also been selected to represent Canada this summer at the upcoming Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow, Scotland (July 2014).

Why did you choose the profession of AT? 

Having played high level sports (baseball, hockey, golf),  I always wanted to enjoy a profession whereby I would be involved in sports.  Also having sustained a number of injuries when playing these sports I was always interested in how the body healed and rehabilitated.

What made you decide to open your own clinic?

Upon graduation from the University of Manitoba and successful certification, Scott MacLeod and myself saw an opportunity to open up a therapy clinic in Steinbach.  Steinbach is a community that is not saturated by other physiotherapy clinics and still close enough to Winnipeg if/when we required consultation or referral to other health professionals.

Do you like being able to work both Clinically and with Sports teams?

I love working both clinically and with sports teams/athletes.  I have had the fortune of working with 3 major league baseball teams, multiple national teams (Team Canada Men's Volleyball, Team Canada Baseball, Team Canada Men's Soccer (senior, U23, U20, and Rowing Canada), World Junior Hockey Championships (2005), and multiple major games (Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics, Pan Am Games , Commonwealth Games, Canada Summer Games).

What is your most memorable moment to date as an AT?

I have had a lot of memorable moments working as an AT... Some of the highlights include working at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, winning a gold medal at the 2011 Pan Am Games (Baseball), being inducted to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame (Team Canada Baseball).  Working with professional baseball players during the World Baseball Classic and multiple MLB Spring Training (Florida/Arizona).

Advice for students who are learning the profession?

Take pride in your profession, love your work.  Remember, as students, each day when you conduct your practical hours, it is a "job interview".  The networks and connections you make in those sessions may translate into future employment both clinically or with a sports team.

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