OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)– The Wheeling Nailers season is gearing up.

***The Nailers Open Training Camp For 31st Season***

If you have ever been to a hockey game, you know it can get a little rowdy.

At the professional level the sport is extremely physical.

Players get smashed into the boards left and right.

Someone has to be there to put the players back together.

The Nailers hired their first female athletic trainer for the 22-23 season.

I always kind of knew in my heart that hockey was where I wanted to be.

Lauren Rittle, Nailers athletic trainer

Since she was 17, Lauren Rittle wanted to be an athletic trainer. 

She grew up watching her dad and brother play hockey and fell in love with the sports.  

Lauren has stepped into her new role with the Wheeling Nailers as their athletic trainer.  

Providing treatment and injuries prevention for the team.  

You’re seeing more females in athletic trainer roles in all of the professional sports.

Lauren Rittle, Nailers athletic trainer

Wherever the team goes you’ll see Lauren by their side.  

She is one of only four female athletic trainers in the ECHL

Anything could happen. It’s an incredibly physical game. There could be any number of injuries. In hockey there are injuries from the head to the toes.

Lauren Rittle, Nailers athletic trainer

Just earlier this year Aisha Visram became the first women on the bench of an NHL regular-season game, that was for the Los Angeles Kings.  

Lauren says that was inspiring and she hopes to one day make that step into the league as well. 

Catch Lauren repping black and gold ice side for the Wheeling Nailers.