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The SPTS is excited to announce the official acceptance of a new special interest group to the diverse ranks of SPTS endorsed SIGs: the Tactical Athlete SIG! In a brief interview, the Tactile Athlete SIG Chair, Richard Westrick, PT, DPT, DSc, OCS, SCS, discussing the inception, goals, and exciting visions for the future of this new, unique group.

What inspired you to create the Tactical Athlete SIG?

Over the past year there has been growing interest to create a Special Interest Group for physical therapists working with law enforcement, firefighters, special operations, and military “tactical athletes”.  Creating a new SIG is the perfect opportunity to support PTs interested in working with this community and facilitate communication between those already facilitating tactical athletes.

What are the goals of the SIG?

The goal of the Tactical Athlete Special Interest Group is to support and expand the knowledge and understanding of Sports Physical Therapy members working with “tactical athlete” communities. The SIG will serve to facilitate collaboration and communication between researchers, clinicians, and tactical athletes regarding various aspects of training, injury prevention, performance, and physical therapy unique to this population.

What hot topics do you feel will be most pertinent to target with SIG activities and sponsored educational sessions in the near future?

Stay tuned! We will survey our SIG members to get a better idea of the most pertinent “hot topics” in the coming months. We will be seeking input from members as we define the important role of physical therapists for tactical athletes.  Musculoskeletal injuries continue to create the largest burden in this community & understanding return-to-duty considerations will of utmost importance.

Who is the targeted population for membership into the SIG?

Sports Physical Therapy members with a particular interest in law enforcement, fire & rescue, special operations and military “tactical athletes” are the target population for this Special Interest Group.

Do you have to have a military background to be a part of the SIG?

Absolutely not!  We actually anticipate the number of members working with law enforcement and firefighters to outnumber those who work with the military.  I am an active-duty Army officer & Sports Physical Therapist and have been afforded the opportunity to support military Tactical Athletes around the world over the past 20 years.  During this time I’ve recognized the unique considerations relative to this population, but I also recognize the potential to collaborate and learn from those with work with various types of tactical athletes.

Are there any upcoming sponsored SIG events that you would like to note?

Since the SIG is just getting started, we will be actively seeking opportunities to sponsor events and activities and will be looking for ideas from our growing membership roster.  We are already discussing collaboration with our colleagues at the NSCA’s Tactical Strength & Conditioning Program.  We have programming being developed for the 2016 Combined Sections Meeting and are excited about the future for this SIG!

The newest SPTS special interest group!

 

To join the Tactical Athlete Special Interest Group, contact Richard Westrick.

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