Willie Ocampo, MS (’17) has always known he wanted to help athletes who are physically or intellectually impaired.
As the lead adaptive training exercise physiologist for the Disabled Athlete Sports Association (DASA)—a non-profit that provides adaptive sports and fitness to individuals with physical disabilities, visual impairments, and those who are hard of hearing—Willie provides individual training to athletes with physical disabilities. DASA is also recognized by the U.S. Olympic and the Paralympic committees as a U.S. Paralympic sports pipeline.
“At DASA, we develop relationships with our athletes, and the atmosphere is very family-oriented,” Willie said. “Having a one-on-one personal experience with an athlete is important to me because it gives me the opportunity to see their journey from start to finish.”
Feeling like he could take his position and ability to help those in need to the next level, Willie recently completed his Adaptive & Inclusive Trainer Certification through the Adaptive Training Academy (ATA). “I approached this certification as a way to be a better trainer for my athletes and something I definitely needed to do,” Willie said.
During his last trimester at Logan in the Master of Science in Sports & Rehabilitation program, Willie had the opportunity to intern at DASA, and it was that experience that helped him find his true passion. He’s also grateful that Logan provided him with opportunities to take classes with chiropractic students and that the University prioritizes diversity.
At DASA, Willie also works with student interns. His goal is to expose them to different experiences so they can find something they want to commit to 100 percent—which is what Willie strives to do for his job and his athletes every day.
Willie values the friendships and bonds he’s created with his athletes and their families, some of which he’s been working with one-on-one for years.
“Being able to see and be a part of our athletes’ journeys and seeing them progress and improve every day shows just how rewarding my job is,” Willie said. “The impact is often even greater, extending to our athletes’ families, and that makes me love my job even more.”