Trainer’s Choice

Canada’s sports medicine supplier

For the best in sports medicine, choose Trainer’s Choice.

In business for 15 years, Trainer’s Choice has built an offering of high quality products, selection, and strong product value. In recent years, the company has established its market niche, as Trainer’s Choice has emerged as the frontrunner in the Canadian sports medicine industry. Trainer’s Choice today offers a nationally distributed and recognized brand.

The philosophy at Trainer’s Choice is to offer products for life, work, and sport. Since its founding, the core of the business has been to supply high quality sports braces and supports. This month, Rick Schaly, President of Trainer’s Choice, spoke with The Canadian Business Journal about the company’s growth in recent years, in addition to news of several exciting product launches by Trainer’s Choice.

Product development

Bringing together a team of orthopedic surgeons, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, athletic therapists, and sports medicine doctors, Trainer’s Choice has designed functional, supportive, and comfortable products that have been a major contributor to the early success of the company.

“We were competing against products that were based on price and economy and offered very little in structural injury support,” Schaly detailed. “When we came to retail, we had a premium quality product that was above the category standard. We were able to offer three levels of choice for the consumer of high, medium, and low, compared to previous—only a low end choice.”

“Our research found that, most often, if a parent was buying a product for their son or daughter, they wanted the premium choice and the higher quality product to support the injury.”

Schaly attributes this market need for high quality products as a means for the company’s success in recent years, and why Trainer’s Choice has catapulted past its competitors to become the No. 1 brand of Canadian sports medicine products.

Canadian Physiotherapy Association

As its customers sought products that were recognized by a professional health organization, Trainer’s Choice has shifted from total alignment with professional sports and sporting organizations. Schaly continued, “In the past we had focused almost exclusively on sports relationships, but found that the sports connection was only relevant to a narrow band of Canadians. What our customers really wanted to know was that when they buy a brace, it’s a product that meets high quality criteria.”

As such, selected Trainer’s Choice orthopedic braces and supports have been recognized by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) for their material quality. Nineteen qualified products will carry the CPA product recognition logo.

“This has been a few years in the making,” said Schaly. “We have been consulting with orthopedic surgeons and some of Canada’s top sports medicine physicians over the past few years to ensure that our product continues to perform beyond the expectations of the people who use our products.”

Today, the Canadian Physiotherapy Association logo is printed on recognized product packaging of Trainer’s Choice, assuring customers that the product offers the highest levels of function and quality. Additionally, Trainer’s Choice has also worked to make its customers more aware and knowledgeable of product needs.

Supporting product recognition by the Canadian Physiotherapy Association, Trainer’s Choice has updated its product packaging with an educational component—a QR code, recognizable by smartphone, which enables the customer to instantly view an educational website relating to the product, known as a professional educational resource centre.

“Pharmacists often need visual materials to facilitate their discussion with customers. We wanted to take it a step further and make the experience interactive. Customers can learn more about their injuries, get details on our braces and supports and, coolest of all, you can watch a video on how to properly fit our braces, right on your smartphone, in the store!” Schaly said.

Not only does Trainer’s Choice provide its customers with high quality products, it also backs these products with professional education, available right at a customer’s fingertips.

New product launches

Continuing with its goal of offering products supporting life, work, and sport, Trainer’s Choice is exciting to launch a few new products in the coming year.

Expanding from its initial offering of brace and support products, Trainer’s Choice was recently named the national distributor for Axia 3, a pro-digestive antacid product for heartburn relief. Axia 3 tablets contain digestive enzymes that promote digestion once stomach acid has been neutralized.

Trainer’s Choice will also unveil a product called WOW, the first oral rinse powder that cleans your teeth and freshens your breath. It is anticipated that WOW, an entirely new product category, will be released within three months.

“WOW is a small packet of powder that you take, it requires no water, but when you put it into your mouth, it turns to liquid,” Schaly explained. “You rinse it in your mouth and it cleans your teeth, removes plaque, and freshens your breath at the same time. We’re quite excited about the pending launch.”

Staying true to its roots, Trainer’s Choice has also developed new braces and supports. The Zoomer Brace is designed for customers aged 45 and older who may experience osteoarthritis at an earlier age. The need for such a product will be in demand particularly with an aging baby boomer population.

Trainer’s Choice is dedicated to manufacturing products that are functional and supportive, and provide value, while allowing customers to return to their life activities, work, and sport.

Schaly concluded, “Trainer’s Choice is growing into other categories and using our distribution chain to fulfill different retail needs.”