Emily Hatch, CSCS is our Vancouver Facility Manager. She was recently highlighted by KATU News in their "Everyday Heroes" segment. We couldn't agree more!
"Today's everyday hero was a standout basketball player at Lake Oswego High School and at the University of San Diego.
After turning pro and playing several seasons in the women's league in Denmark, Emily Hatch is back in the Pacific Northwest, training special needs athletes.
You’ll see a lot of happy faces during Emily Hatch’s Specialty Athletic Training classes in Vancouver twice a week.
There’re squats and weight training, plenty of time to get in some reps. And also, work on balance and coordination.
And throughout, there is Emily Hatch’s guidance and encouragement.
"Three, good job. Four. Big smile, man. Five. That’s six."
It's as much about getting in shape as it is about having fun and building self-confidence.
“Our main goal is just to make it fun and to empower these individuals and make them feel really great about themselves while integrating a healthy lifestyle," Hatch said.
A chance meeting with the head of Specialty Athletic Training was a turning point.
"I just have been so attached and drawn to the special needs community,” she said. “I was lucky enough to get this opportunity.”
Two of Emily’s client's moms say they have seen profound changes in their sons.
"He gets up at the crack of dawn and is just excited to come work out. He loves the workout partners and he also loves Emily,” said Aaron Robinson’s mom, Vickie Robinson. “It’s made him a lot stronger. You see him lifting those weights -- he's pretty fast and intense.”
Mark Stewart is blind and developmentally delayed.
His mom Patty Stewart said it was tough to find activities for him after he finished school.
“This is a great program," Stewart said. “I mean, I am amazed. The trainers are awesome -- it’s going to make me cry because she’s so cool.”
But Emily says she's also learning from them.
“Oh, so much,” she said. “A lot of what I’ve learned is patience, listening. How each individual is so different. Just how to enjoy life, enjoy the simple things. All of my clients have brought so much joy to my life.”
Emily tells us that the exercise regimes for her clients are tailored to their individual needs, with an emphasis on the lower and upper body, and core-strength conditioning."
About the Author
Ryan Lockard, CSCS, CSPS is the head trainer and founder of Specialty Athletic Training. He a member of the Autism Society of Oregon's Board of Directors and is accredited by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and a Certified Special Populations Specialist. Ryan has worked with individuals with special needs since 2007 and has over 10,000 hours of 1:1 instruction working with individuals that have various special needs.