History of the World Federation of Athletic Training & Therapy
The concept of a global organization representing athletic training began in 1998 in Dallas, Texas, when National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) President Kent Falb and the NATA Board of Directors ordered a study “to examine the education, credentialing, and development” of athletic training worldwide. At that time, athletic training/athletic therapy, as we knew it, existed only in North America.
The World Federation of Athletic Training & Therapy (WFATT) was formed in 2000, at a June meeting in Los Angeles, California. Under the leadership of the NATA and Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA), the primary purpose was to provide a forum for health care professionals to exchange ideas, treatment techniques, and knowledge. Dr. Michael Ferrara (NATA) was the first President from 2000 – 2005.
The vision was to be “an organization of associations whose vision to improve healthcare for athletes and physically active individuals.” That vision continues today, although, based on decisions made at a 2016 strategic planning, the vision was modified to state, “Athletic Training & Therapy will be recognized as an essential part of multidisciplinary healthcare teams worldwide.”
The previous vision later reflected as a mission statement: “The World Federation of Athletic Training and Therapy provides leadership to advance the international interests of its members for the common goal of optimal health care for physically active populations”.
The mandate of the WFATT
It is the mandate of the WFATT to be the voice and face of Athletic Therapy and to be an advocate for the profession with other international organizations such as the International Olympic Committee, Federation International de Medicine Sportive commonly known as FIMS, the European Federation of Sport Medicine Associations, the Asian Federation of Sport Medicine and even the United Nations and UNICEF.
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