Springfield College Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies alumni Sarah Caragian ’14 and Sara Dalton ’13 were recently invited by the Deputy General of the Chinese Olympic Committee to serve as athletic trainers for the Chinese Women’s Soccer Team in China, from Aug. 22 to Sept. 13, as the team prepares to be Olympic contenders in women’s soccer.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for both young professionals, and Springfield College is very proud to assist in providing two athletic trainers the chance to help out potential Olympic athletes,” said Springfield College School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Dean Tracey Matthews. “This opportunity demonstrates our strong international relations with athletic training professionals throughout China and we are confident that our students will serve as strong advocates for future student and faculty travel.”
Springfield College has maintained strong international relations with multiple Chinese universities during the years, which has helped open the door for this current opportunity for athletic training students. As part of their voyage to China, Caragian and Dalton receive round trip airfare, room and board, a stipend and official Chinese women’s soccer team apparel as part of their experience in working with some of the most talented women’s soccer players for 21 days.
“I am very excited to assist because I was a soccer player myself during my time at Springfield College and I truly enjoy and love the sport,” said Dalton, who also is currently working toward a master of science degree in sport management at Springfield College. “To have the opportunity to assist these great athletes will be exciting and rewarding. It’s going to be fun to utilize the skills we gained at Springfield College on an international stage working with world-class athletes.”
The athletic training program at Springfield College has a strong reputation for preparing students to become first-class certified athletic trainers, and the support demonstrated by the College in making this unique opportunity a reality for both Caragian and Dalton has not been overlooked.
“From the time I received the phone call telling me I was headed to China, the College has been great in helping me make sure I am ready for this opportunity,” said Caragian. “Not only preparing me with the athletic training skills, but all of the other details such as travel plans to get to China and back, and contacts once we arrive. Everything has been well prepared and has allowed us to enjoy the experience.”
Founded in 1885, Springfield College is known worldwide for the guiding principles of its Humanics philosophy—educating students in spirit, mind and body for leadership in service to others. With its foundation of academic excellence and rich athletic heritage, Springfield College prepares students with real-world leadership skills for careers that transform lives and communities. The college offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degree programs in the fields of health sciences, human and social services, sport management and movement studies, education, business, and the arts and sciences. It also offers doctoral programs in physical education, physical therapy, and counseling psychology. The college is ranked in the 2014 edition of “Best Colleges” in the top tier of “Best Regional Universities – North Region” by U.S.News Media Group, and is designated as a premier Leadership Development Center by the YMCA of the USA. More than 5,000 traditional, nontraditional and international students study at its main campus in Springfield, Mass., and at its School of Human Services campuses across the country.