Helmet Tracker supports the men and women who take the most important step in their Equipment Manager journey by tackling the AEMA (Athletic Equipment Managers Association) Certification Exam.
Each year, Helmet Tracker awards one Equipment Manager who passes the exam our scholarship. The scholarship reimburses the Equipment Manager for the cost of the exam and the study book.
Here are the three latest scholarship applicants
From coast to coast, Rodney chases his dream of becoming a major sport team General Manager.
The next step: AEMA Certification.
Rodney, now in Seattle, plans to take and pass the exam in Indianapolis, then find a job in an equipment room while he works to finish his masters degree.
Rodney earned his Sport Management degree from George Mason where he was first introduced to being an Equipment Manager for the Patriots.
“I worked mostly as a men’s basketball team equipment manager as part of an internship, then for two years I worked a paid position,” he said. “Then, it was off to Indianapolis.”
Triple A Indians
Rodney worked with the Triple A Indianapolis Indians in inventory management and organization, mostly in their merchandising department.
After that, it was a stint with Cal Ripken Baseball, traveling with a youth baseball clinic team for a season from Florida to West Virginia. The Ripken team set up shop numerous times to put kids from 5 to 12 years old through several stations. Rodney worked them all.
He is now working toward earning his masters degree in Business Analytics from Grand Canyon University.
Rodney initially was interested in athletic training—so it’s always been about staying around sports—since he competed in football and track at Thomas Dale High in Richmond, Virginia. But studying to be an athletic trainer wasn’t for him. He shifted his focus to Sports Management.
Once he earned his degree at George Mason, he worked at the Virginia Beach Fieldhouse, organizing inventory, managing, and helping to run the football and soccer programs.
Seattle – “Incredible work ethic…”
Now on the other coast, Rodney works in Seattle, Washington in a program called the After-School All-Stars. Founded by Arnold Schwarenegger, After-School All-Stars provide an extended learning day for middle school students in low income areas.
“He has a incredible work ethic, is organized with his assigned projects and tasks, and is passionate about our mission to provide comprehensive after-school programs that keep children safe and help them succeed in school and in life,” writes Ranna J. Daud, the Executive Director of After-School All-Stars in Seattle.
“As the Operations Coordinator, he is responsible for general office management, HR paperwork and onboarding of new employees, coding of expenses, assistance with researching funding opportunities, and volunteer management,” she wrote. “He has been a welcome addition to our team and I look forward to seeing his growth and professional development with our organization.”
Rodney learned about the AEMA certification from a friend and as his interest grew, he began to poke around, looking at job openings.
“Most said you must be certified, so that’s what I am going to do in Indianapolis – get certified,” Rodney told us. “My equipment experience isn’t recent, but I will get my foot in the door, then make the moves I need to make.”
In May, his days will be spent studying for the exam while not working and in between episodes of Game of Thrones.
Jason loves the Colorado Springs area, but was not associated with the military until he landed a job at the Air Force Academy.
“I had an internship at Drake in Des Moines (Iowa) then moved into a full-time job there,” he said by way of introduction.
We asked him to back up a bit and learned that he played hockey and baseball at Coronado High School in the Springs. Down the road, he earned a degree in Sport Management from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2015.
High School Equipment Manager Goal
Jason said he had a goal of being an Equipment Manager since high school.
“It’s something I’m good at. I’m very organized and pay attention to detail.”
“I loved it – I loved it all.”
Sky Sox to Drake to Academy
He returned to the Sky Sox and worked in the clubhouse for two years, then landed the unpaid internship at Drake where he worked with all sports.
“It was tough,” he said, but worthwhile. He said he learned gobs from Head Equipment Manager Troy Jeps0n. “You have to make sacrifices.”
Troy had worked in the equipment room for Air Force Academy Associate Athletic Director of Operations Dan Siermine and when a job opened up there, it was a good fit for Jason.
“My three main sports are men’s and women’s soccer and men’s lacrosse. I also support fencing, water polo, boxing, men’s and women’s gymnastics, and the spirit squad (cheer and dance team),” Jason said.
Equipment Managers Exam
Jason will take the AEMA Certification Exam in Indy next month.
“It’s important to be certified. The AEAM is a great organization,” he said. “I went to convention last summer in Phoenix and it was a great experience for me.”
Dan Siermine has confidence that Jason will pass the exam.
“I know Jason will do tremendous on his exam. He is a very bright spot in the future of the AEMA and the equipment profession,” he wrote.
“deserving, loyal, hard-working”
“I can think of no individual more deserving than Jason to be awarded the Helmet Tracker AEMA Certification Scholarship,” Dan wrote. “Jason is a loyal, conscientious and hard-working employee. His coaches and athletes have complete confidence in him. He goes over and beyond the call of duty for all his sports.”
This Elijah’s third season in the equipment room at the University of Idaho. He will finish his degree in Geography next semester.
“Eli Boswell is an up-and-coming equipment manager with passion and drive,” wrote Anthony Castro, Assistant Athletic Director for Equipment Operations at the University of Idaho. “He joined our Idaho team as a Football equipment manager spring of ‘16.”
As important as knowing the equipment and how to care for it, knowing how to interact with others is also critical for an Equipment Manager.
“… learning, dependable, super leader…”
“Eli has come in with an open mind and is learning how to deal with the complex make-up and the demands of equipment management. Eli is responsible, along with dependable and is becoming a super leader by managing and guiding other student workers/managers. He leads by example by continuously providing good customer service, cooperation and respect amongst staff, athletes, coaches, and everyone,” Anthony wrote.
Eli played varsity football and threw the shot put and discus for the track team at North Salem High School in Salem, Oregon.
When he got to Idaho, he heard about the jobs in the equipment room and went after it. An unofficial tryout during Spring ball lead to a position as a student manager.
“When I visited here, I just fell in love with Moscow,” he said. It’s not too big or too small.
“I love it and have had an absolute blast.”
Though he plans to earn his masters degree in urban and regional planning, that’s a backup plan.
“I love being around sports. Experiencing the game-day atmosphere and traveling with the team is a great experience and the people I work with are just fantastic!” he said.
“This is an awesome profession.”
Equipment Managers Exam next month
Eli will take the AEAM Certification Exam in Indianapolis next month.
“Being an Equipment Manager is becoming a more respected and well known profession,” Eli said. “Ill be looking for a GA job and now – many schools require AEMA certification.”
After earning a masters degree, he hopes to stay in the equipment room somewhere and work his way up to run his own program someday.
When he’s not studying or working in the equipment room, you’ll find Eli taking scenic walks with his girlfriend or relaxing with movies, football, or video games. “I do try to get around to reading, too,” he quipped.