Degree: Doctor of Athletic Training
College: Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences
Aisha Visram, a native Torontonian who loves hockey and the health sciences, forged her academic and career path as an athletic trainer, paying her dues often as the only woman AT rising the ranks of hockey circles. She started in 2012 as an AT for college and (ECHL) East Coast Hockey League professional ice hockey teams in upstate New York before relocating to California in 2020 to be the Assistant Athletic Trainer for the Ontario Reign – the American Hockey League affiliate to the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Los Angeles Kings. A year later, she was Reign’s Head Athletic Trainer.
Aisha was called up by the Kings on January 13 to fill in for bench staff absent due to COVID-19 protocols. That day, she became the first AT woman of color working an NHL gameday bench and the first woman to serve in that capacity in 20 years.
Ironically, getting more women ATs in hockey is moving at a glacial pace. Aisha is leaning on the leadership pillar of her FIU Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) degree to help speed things up. Aisha says that qualified female ATs must work twice as hard as their male counterparts and regularly pay their own way to get their foot in the door. Addressing this disparity spurred her to create Equal Opportun-AT, a nonprofit to raise funds to award grants that help cover expenses for women ATs as they seek positions with sports teams.
Aisha does not want financial struggles to hinder women ATs to enter into professional sports. And she doesn’t want to wait another 20 years to see women ATs on NHL team benches. For her, that would be the ultimate real triumph.
Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences