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Troopers Health Professionals Discuss Ensemble’s Need for Athletic Trainer

The marching arts as an activity is evolving, constantly pushing the boundaries of performance. Such advancement and innovation increases the physical demands placed on performers. To support this increasing athleticism, member health and wellness has never been more important.

At the Troopers, member care ranks among the highest priorities. Earlier this year, Troopers announced a partnership with Forte Athletics for pre-season fitness training. The program is designed to prepare individuals for the rigors of world class drum corps and to do so with the unique needs of different sections in mind.

At this time, however, the corps is still seeking health professionals to round out its healthcare team during spring training and the summer tour.

One key area of need is an Athletic Trainer. (See job description.)

Karen Nichols, RN, Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Troopers, shared the following:

“An athletic trainer is a huge asset to the program because drum corps is such a physical activity. [An AT on site] can identify whether an injury or pain is a big problem that requires further specialist care or can be managed and treated on site. They can see members for those little problems and provide exercises and treatments that can help prevent things from becoming big problems.”

François Martel, Troopers’ 2022 tour athletic trainer, quickly came to understand the necessity of an on-site AT for any drum corps. He noted that before blocks last year, his work included working with members to stretch or to tape injuries. He performed triage nearly daily, evaluated injuries and conducted rehab. Being a registered massage therapist added to his skill set for Troopers, although that training is not required. Martel worked with both staff and members to safely and effectively return marching members to the field.

With other work commitments, Martel will not return to DCI for summer 2023.

Troopers Health and Wellness team is still welcoming applications for athletic trainer and nursing staff. Job openings info can be found here.

“Having medical personnel on site can help quickly mitigate issues before they become serious, decrease the need for urgent care or emergency room visits, and help members with chronic health conditions continue to manage them,” noted Nichols.

Nichols, who is involved with Troopers even though her son has aged out, shared what she likes best about putting her skills to work during a summer of drum corps: “The people! It’s a really solid group of like-minded people who are all working towards common goals. It’s clichéd, but it’s like family.”

To join the Troopers’ health and wellness family, see the job listings here. If you have questions, you can reach out via email.


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