Having worked with ABAC for 15 years, Donna Sledge has always had the well-being of ABAC’s student-athletes on her mind. She started working with ABAC in 2003 as an adjunct professor and in 2010 she was hired as ABAC’s first full-time athletic trainer.
With experience as a Licensed Athletic Trainer for over 25 years, she is also a National Board Certified Trainer and a Georgia Medical Board Licensed Certified Athletic Trainer. With this knowledge, she has the qualifications to make sure ABAC’s athletes are healthy.
She didn’t start off studying to be an athletic trainer, but as a political science major at Valdosta State University.
Before working with ABAC, Donna worked with many professional teams and events as a trainer. While working in Memphis, TN providing medical care for local colleges and high schools, she was recruited to become a founding member of Baptist Sports Medicine in Nashville, TN under NATA Hall of fame member—First President of Georgia Athletic Trainers Association and currently Athletic Trainer for Florida State University—Nick Pappas.
While working in Tennesse, Donna worked with a variety of professional sports teams like the Tennesse Titans, Nashville Sounds Minor League Baseball, Nashville Knights and Nashville Predators hockey teams. She also covered professional events like the National Longhorn Rodeo Association, Olympic Water Polo, National Gymnastics and National Ice Skating, to name a few.
When she returned to Georgia and began working with ABAC, Donna said she loved it. “Working in Tifton placed me near my family. Working at ABAC was coming home. Working at ABAC has allowed me to give back to the community and region I love.”
Here at ABAC, Donna continues doing what she loves: working with talented athletes to reach their goals by making sure they stay healthy.
“I care about how they feel, where they have pain and I understand their desire to play quickly and safely.” Donna said, “Athletes trust I will help them heal when they are injured, helping them recover and getting them back to their sport at the same level or better.”
Donna plans to keep working with Director Alan Kramer, Shirley Wilson and the coaching staff in the Athletic Department to help ABAC’s athletes succeed, not only on the field but also off the field.