Way to go to Heather Boyle, RN who just had her wonderful Narrative Matters essay included in the latest edition of the health policy journal Health Affairs. Her essay is entitled “As Sports Fees Rise, A Young Athlete Learns That If You Can’t Pay, You Can’t Play.” Heather is a nurse at the Center for Change, an inpatient treatment center for adolescents with eating disorders in Orem, Utah. I had the pleasure of teaching Heather for two of her nursing courses at the University of Washington, where she graduated in 2012.
As she mentions in her essay, Heather grew up in rural Washington State, near the Olympic rainforest. She took up running in elementary school by helping her family members deliver newspapers. A star high-school runner, Heather encountered financial barriers to participation in her school’s track team. Heather advocates for elimination of the “pay for play” rules in order to increase access to school sports. For my health policy course, Heather wrote a health policy essay/personal narrative on school sports, using the format of Narrative Matters. She now has her essay published, plus there is a link to her reading her essay. “Quick Toes in Stinky Shoes” was her original title for the essay, and in the published piece the editors retained it as a subheading. Heather I am so proud of you!
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Thanks for sharing Heather’s great story with us. Her writing has opened my eyes to the importance of school sports, especially for students who come from families of limited financial resources.