Highlights from the CSMTA National Education Conference

Maxine Featherstonhaugh
December 13, 2016
By Maxine Featherstonhaugh
The Canadian Sport Massage Therapists Association National Education Conference & AGM was held at the Grand Hotel & Suites in Toronto from October 21-23rd, 2016. A very informative and jam-packed agenda was put together by the National AGM Organizing Committee led by Kristy Wiltshire, immediate past president of the Ontario Chapter.

Participants had several options to choose from when signing up for either the full or partial conference. The full conference offered two choices: first, was a Friday afternoon course, Saturday full-day break-out sessions and full-day course Sunday; second choice was a full weekend course Friday, Saturday & Sunday broken up with break-out sessions on Saturday afternoon. The partial conference options were either the all-day Saturday break-out sessions or the full-day Sunday course. The national AGM was held on Friday night, which saw the changing of the national board. After a very demanding day on Saturday, we relaxed in a social atmosphere in the Canada Room at Wayne Gretsky's, where both new and current members had the opportunity to create new relationships, strengthen bonds and converse with the CSMTA board and other members. As well, throughout the three days, we had three certification candidates attempt their practical exam in hopes of becoming fully certified sport massage therapists.

We were honoured to have several amazing speakers and instructors for the courses and break-out sessions. We started Friday afternoon with Jason White's "Rock Your On-Field Shoulder, Wrist and Elbow Assessment." The full weekend had our "Advanced Sport Massage Course" taught by two of our most experienced instructors, Kristy Wiltshire and Remo Bucci; and Sunday was all about "Working on the Athlete's Respiratory System" taught by Jonathan Maister.

For the short break-out sessions on Saturday we had Amanda Halls discussing and demonstrating "Sport Taping for the Ankle, Thumb & Wrist"; Paula Burchat fascinated us with what life is like in "The Fast Paced Race of the Track & Field Athlete"; Michael Robinson's "Concussion Assessment/Management Tools and Protocols for the Athlete" had us questioning the reliability, validity and effectiveness of some of the most popular concussion testing tools; Jeff Aldham provided exciting information on "Functional Movement Screening for the Athlete and non-Athlete"; and finally, Dr. Leith Drury delightfully introduced us to "Sport Psychology for the Athlete."

The speakers and instructors were engaging, well-informed and dynamic. Although we were receiving the information for game-time situations, we were also able to take the information directly to our clinics for immediate use with our daily clients.

The national AGM brought about discussion of important issues facing sport massage therapists in Canada and also elections for open positions on the executivec. The new national board members are: Jessica Sears, president; Monty Churchman, vice-president; Mike Grafstein, secretary; Karen Hyslop, membership secretary; Jeanette Dobmeier, treasurer. The committee chairs are: Mike Grafstein and Kim Mark-Goldsworthy, by-Laws and policy; Jonathan Maister, education; Remo Bucci, certification and examination; Ed Ratz, selections; Michelle Brinklow, public relations.

The AGM organizing committee truly did an incredible job of putting together this excellent event that was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We must send out a huge thank you to them as they put in many volunteer hours and much effort to make this event the success that it was. So thank you to Kristy Wiltshire, Karen Hyslop, Jason White, Lindsay Geiger, Gillian Samuel, Vincente Zabala, Brenda Caley and Thomas Rae. As well, we could not have done this without the support of our amazing sponsors: Massage Therapy Canada Magazine, Know Your Body Best, Soothe, SpiderTech, Vitality Depot, Trainer's Choice, Peak Performance, ProVera, Little Big Shot Energy, Theobroma Chocolat, White Oaks Lavender and Nuun Rehydration.

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