Colts Cheerleaders get first athletic trainer

Colts Cheerleaders get first athletic trainer

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Jillian Hacker was 16 when she was a patient at Methodist Sports Medicine, now known as Forté Sports Medicine and Orthopedics.

“That’s what got me interested in sports medicine,” Hacker said.

Fast-forward 11 years and now she is the first female athletic trainer for the Colts Cheerleaders and is paving the way for women in the NFL.

She was introduced as the group’s athletic trainer earlier this month and also serves as Forté’s outreach services coordinator.

“This is my dream job,” Hacker told News 8. “We identify any minor issues that we might have and then I give them exercises to correct those issues.”

Hacker, a former college gymnast, recently coordinated care for Purdue University’s Fort Wayne women’s soccer and softball teams.

When asked about being the first head coach of the cheerleaders and the first woman to hold the position, Hacker said, “It’s an amazing experience and an honor. I had a lot of fun working with this group of women and keeping them healthy for game day.”

Hacker says cheerleaders suffer some of the same injuries as football players, including stress fractures, tendinitis and ankle sprains.

“A lot of people underestimate the athleticism that these performers need to go out there and perform throughout a game and during halftime performances,” Hacker said.

Hacker says his goal is to make a lasting impact on the Colts organization.

“I want anyone who comes to the Indianapolis Colts cheerleading to know that they will be taken care of in every way,” Hacker said. “It will be for the best medical providers in the NFL.”

Learn more about the team and its scheduled appearances on the Colts website.

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