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Once a student aide, Mackenzie Ondersma returns to GRCC as first new athletic trainer in 27 years

Sept. 9, 2022, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids Community College has its first new athletic trainer in 27 years – but one who is very familiar with the program.

Mackenzie Ondersma is replacing Mike Roche as GRCC’s head trainer. She once studied with Roche at GRCC, working as a student aide and often returning as first aid and support staff for various GRCC events.

"I am so excited to return to GRCC as the head athletic trainer," Ondersma said. "This program is how I got started on my athletic training path and helped me succeed in my education and career. I look forward to working with each and every one of the teams as well as growing this Sports Medicine program to be the best it can be!"

Ondersma worked for Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team as an assistant athletic trainer at Asbury University for two years in Wilmore, Ken. where she worked with men’s soccer, men’s basketball, women’s lacrosse, and golf teams.

Ondersma graduated with her undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University in 2020 and completed an internship at GRCC. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree in Athletic Training and passing the Board of Certification Exam, she moved to Kentucky and worked while she earned her master’s degree in Athletic Training from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2021.

She is certified by the National Athletic Trainer’s Association Board of Certification as well as licensed in the state of Michigan and commonwealth of Kentucky.

Ondersma will support about 150 athletes each year in partnership with physicians and medical specialists.

Roche, who retired earlier this year, assisted generations of GRCC student-athletes and has been honored by having athletic scholarships named in his honor.

Roche has served GRCC students for 27 years and in 2021 received the National Athletic Trainer of the Year from the National Junior College Athletic Association.

 

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