It is with a heavy heart and deep sense of loss that the OATA Board of Directors wishes to share with the membership that Dr. Jamie Laws has passed.  Jamie was a gentle giant of a soul and cast a shadow of unquestioned passion and commitment over his cherished professions of athletic therapy and chiropractic.  He had career-long leadership roles in CATA, OATA and both the Canadian Chiropractic Association and the College of Chiropractors of Ontario. Two of the more recent contributions by Jamie to OATA were a leadership role in the preparation of the Association’s and the AT profession’s White Paper on the History, Development and Future of Athletic Therapy in Ontario 2015 and, more recently, personally preparing a letter of support to the CKO – College of Kinesiologists of Ontario – to advance the AT specialty/class submission.  Jamie wanted to see Athletic Therapy achieve RHPA standing during his lifetime.

Jamie Laws was a phone call away for any task that needed to be championed for either of his two professions.  He was at every annual conference and at the OATA Hip and Knee Summits he joked he attended the latter as he was a candidate to have his own knees surgically repaired.  Jamie was a professor at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) from 1975 to 1987 and was the principal author and editor of a textbook titled "Chiropractic Treatment of the Lower Limb" [1983]. He served on the Editorial Board of the Canadian Chiropractic magazine and was a Council Member of the College of Chiropractors of Ontario.  

He was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Chiropractic Sport Sciences in 1981. He was a founding member of the Acupuncture Council of Ontario in 1995 and made a Fellow of McLaughlin College, York University in 2004.

While there will be many tributes to the memory and legacy of Jamie Laws, we ATs have long and wonderful memories of this AT “gentleman.”  Jamie Laws graduated from York University with a BA, Specialized Honours in Physical Education and Geography in 1973. Jamie was part of the first cohort to pass the CAT(C) certification exam in 1975. But more than his “firsts” with Athletic Therapy, Jamie Laws had a career that had some remarkable highlights:

In 1979, when Jamie became the first Athletic Therapist in Canada to become a Doctor of Chiropractic, he was appointed to be the Chiropractor for the Toronto Argonauts Football Club by Fred Dunbar, the Head Athletic Therapist. He held this position for nearly twenty years.

Jamie worked at three Olympic Games; Montreal '76, Calgary '88 and Seoul, South Korea '88. He also worked at the Pan Am Games Winnipeg '99, the Para-Olympic Games Toronto '76 and many Canada Games, FISU Games, Ontario Games, Pan-Pacific and Masters Games. Jamie has served as Athletic Trainer/Athletic Therapist/Chiropractor for National and Provincial teams in athletics, basketball, rowing among others. 

Jamie was a founding member of the Ontario Sport Therapists Association [OSTA], the predecessor of the OATA . Jamie was a founding member of the OSTA Education committee that developed the Level 1 and Level 2 seminars for Volunteer Minor Sports Athletic Trainers. 

Jamie took his professional duties seriously.  But, he was equally committed to his friendships. He had many cherished friends, all who will miss him dearly.  He would be very disappointed in any of us who are crying or feeling full of sadness right now.  He’d ask us to lift our heads up and tell a good or a favourite Jamie Laws story.  There are many.  The OATA is very pleased that Jamie Laws received his OATA Founders’ Award (2017) and was able to present to Barry Bartlett who followed as a recipient the year after.  He told us warmly and with much humility how much it meant to him to be loved by his fellow ATs, to have established a deep network of professional peers who shared in his commitment to being best-in-class.

Jamie Laws, gone but never forgotten.

The OATA will share details of the family-planned post COVID-19 celebration of this wonderful man and his remarkable career.


Yesterday, the World Health Organisation announced that COVID-19 had reached " pandemic " status. The Ontario government is expected soon to announce strategies and measures to move beyond the "containment phase" to the "community spread" phase to counter COVID-19.

Athletic Therapists, along with all other frontline healthcare practitioners, have a pivotal role and responsibility in mitigating the impacts in Ontario. 

Read the Full Alert

Who are Athletic Therapists?

A Certified Athletic Therapist (AT) utilizes contemporary rehabilitative techniques, therapeutic modalities, physical reconditioning and supportive techniques to promote optimal performance and prepares the individual for safe reintegration into an active lifestyle.



The Ontario Athletic Therapist Association (OATA) is the professional association that governs the practice of all Certified Athletic Therapists in the Province of Ontario. The OATA is a recognized arm of the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association and represents over 900 ATs across Ontario.


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