Athletic Therapy

Mats Hanson

"From injury to playing, you get to be there for the whole process." – Mats Hanson

Mats Hanson was inspired to pursue his dream of becoming an athletic therapist while rehabbing an injury.

A competitive swimmer for eight years, mainly during junior high and high school, he suffered through back pain and saw a physiotherapist at a clinic in Selkirk.

It was there when he met someone who’d change his life.

“There was an athletic therapist there who worked at the physiotherapy clinic and the pool I swam at doing aquatic therapy,” he explained. “I started talking to her about athletic therapy and decided to pursue it during my post-secondary studies.”

After hearing about his siblings’ university experiences and learning about the highly respected Gupta Faculty of Kinesiology and Applied Health, he decided to attend The University of Winnipeg.

Now in his fifth year of his Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Hanson has his sights set on graduating next year.

While the program has been challenging at times, he credits professors like Ben Trunzo, who teaches first-year Intro to Kinesiology, for pushing him to be his very best.

“He’s so passionate about putting good therapists and good people into the health care system, and that’s really inspiring,” he said.

As Hanson looks ahead to life after university, he’s excited to begin working within his community at the clinic in Selkirk where he’s already gained experience as a trainer. His dream is to one day work with the Winnipeg Jets or Winnipeg Blue Bomber organizations.

“The cool thing about athletic therapy is that you get to see the injury, you get to respond to the injury, you treat the injury, and then help the athlete rehab the injury,” he said. “From injury to playing, you get to be there for the whole process.”

Another goal Hanson has is to make athletic therapy and, kinesiology as a whole, more accessible to all people.

He says there are stereotypes, such as locker room talk, that are still prevalent in sports.

“Kinesiology and athletic therapy can be intimidating for a lot of people, but it can be a career path for everyone,” he said. “I want to make it a safe space for queer people and other underrepresented groups in the sporting world.”

“You want everyone to feel safe.”

What is Athletic Therapy?

Learn about injury prevention, immediate care, and reconditioning of musculoskeletal injuries in this program. Our curriculum is one of only seven accredited by the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association.

Make an Impact

Athletic therapists are dedicated to the prevention, care, and rehabilitation of muscle, bone, and joint injuries in relation to athletics and the pursuit of physical activity. All UWinnipeg graduates are eligible to become certified members of the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association, making them great candidates for a wide range of exciting fields, including working with athletes at the amateur, college, national, and professional levels, working in or owning a private clinic, or teaching at universities and colleges.

Career Opportunities

  • Private Clinics
  • Professional teams
  • National Teams
  • University and College Teams
  • Teaching and Research (universities)
  • Case Managers (insurance industry)
  • Industrial Health and Safety
  • Medical Appliances representative (Hip and knee replacements)
  • Medical retail (health and safety/braces)

UWinnipeg faculty, students, and alumni are leaving their mark in the field of Athletic Therapy. Read their stories:

Kinesiology research aims to reduce mental health stigma

UWinnipeg researchers contribute to children’s physical literacy

UWinnipeg trio attend international conference

View Athletic Therapy Factsheet [PDF]  |  See Academic Calendar Information [PDF] | Visit Department Website

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