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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Sports Studies profiled

Since its creation in the 1980s, the Sports Studies Department has proven to be a popular major among the athletes and non-athletes of the Guilford community. The department started after Joyce Clark, a retiree of the Sports Studies Department, hired the first full-time physical education faculty member in 1980.

Some might be asking why its popularity is increasing so rapidly.

“30 years ago, you never saw athletic trainers in the high school setting and rarely in the small college setting,” said Mary Broos, Instructor in Sports Studies. “People have recognized that sports participation has increased and it has now become prevalent to have them there, even at middle schools.”

The department has flourished and now offers majors in sports medicine, exercise and sports studies, and sports management. It also offers concentrations in sports administration, sports marketing, and dance.

While the majority of the students involved in the Sports Studies Department are athletes, there are still many non-athletes participating.

“I would like to see more non-athletes in the program,” said Craig Eilbacher, Instructor in Sports Studies.

A major in physical education with teachers’ certification, and concentrations in coaching and health & fitness are currently under development.

The Sports Medicine major helps to develop skills among those students who have a clinical background in the study of the human body and the specific theories and practices related to the field of medicine.

“I love everyone in the department. The teachers, the athletic trainers – they’re all invaluable to me and are the main reason I decided to major in sports medicine,” said senior Sarah Curry.

There is talk throughout the department about a proposal for a 3+2 Accelerated Athletic Training Degree. This degree will allow the Sports Medicine majors to spend three years at Guilford and then have the opportunity to go into an entry-level masters program at UNCG for their fourth and fifth years.

After successful completion of the program, students are able to sit at the National Board Exam for Athletic Trainers.

“Our hope is that the proposal passes and the program can go into effect for the fall semester,” said Eilbacher.

Considered a pre-professional program, the Exercise and Sport Studies major prepares students for a variety of careers related to exercise, sports, and health science. Some of these careers include personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, and fitness or wellness director.

For the Sports Management major, the Sports Studies Department is teaming up with the departments of Accounting, Business Management, and Economics to emphasize the relationship between sports and business operations such as marketing, and facilities and event management.

With the concentration courses of Sport Marketing and Sport Administration, students can dive deeper into the real world experiences that accompany a career related to sports.

According to the Guilford website, the Sports Marketing concentration strives to “develop ethical, competent, thoughtful, confident, and creative practitioners of sports marketing.”

Organizations such as the YMCA, professional sports teams, and sporting goods manufacturers are a few of many who rely superior sports marketing.

For the Sports Administration concentration, students learn how to effectively manage athletics, recreation centers, and sports. In addition to the classroom, students also have the unique opportunity to experience and assist in the organization and management of an actual sporting event.

“If you love athletics, not only do you have a job that pays a salary, but you are doing what you love,” said Broos. “When you can combine your career with your passion, it’s a phenomenal experience.”

With the growing student enthusiasm surrounding the Sports Studies Department, it is no wonder that the number of Sports Studies majors continues to grow with every passing year.

“Guilford College athletics have better medical coverage because of our athletic trainers and team doctors than many Division I schools, and I’m so lucky to be a part of this program!” said Curry. “I’ll hate to leave them when I graduate, but I’m sure I’ll be back to help out with a football game or two!”

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