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Nelson high athletic trainer enjoys interactions, relationships in helping youth
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Nelson high athletic trainer enjoys interactions, relationships in helping youth

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Nelson County High School athletic trainer Frances Foster is starting her first full season of sports for the Governors’ sports teams.

Foster recently spoke with the Nelson County Times on her time so far with NCHS sports.

Question: What high school did you attend? Play any sports?

Answer: “I attended Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. I played soccer while I was there.”

Q: College? Any sports?

A: “I went to Lynchburg College and graduated in 2018 with my Bachelor’s of Science in Athletic Training. While I was there, I played soccer for 3 years. After finishing at Lynchburg, I started a Master’s of Education program in K-12 Health and Physical Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.”

Q: When did you start at Nelson?

A: “I started at NCHS in July of 2020.”

Q: How did you get started in becoming an athletic trainer?

A: “I had a really great athletic trainer in high school that I was able to shadow and learn a lot from who fueled my passion for athletic training. I knew I always wanted to stay around sports as it had been such a big part of my whole life.

When I came down to Lynchburg and found that many high school Athletic Trainers in the area taught sports medicine classes, I knew that is what I wanted to do. That is how I was put on the track to get my Master’s in education [degree]. I love interacting and building relationships with the kids so being able to do that on their respective fields/courts/tracks and in the classroom was very exciting to me.”

Q: What are your responsibilities as an athletic trainer?

A: “Game and practice coverage, injury prevention and rehabilitation, first aid and emergency response, taping/ wrapping/ bracing athletes for practices and games, documentation of injuries and inventory, and at times the creation and implementation of conditioning and or warm up programs for the respective teams.”

Q: What’s the most treated injury?

A: “It really depends on the sport, playing surface and general conditions that can affect injury prevalence. We see a decent amount of muscle strains over the course of the year which I would say account for the majority of our injuries.”

Q: What are your future goals?

A: “This is a great question. My dream job since about 2015 has been to be a high school athletic trainer and teach a sports medicine class. That dream is coming true when I start teaching this spring and I couldn’t be more excited.”

Q: How has the coronavirus changed the way you do things?

A: “The virus has made me appreciate my job more than anything. Besides being thankful to still have a job, when we were having sports last year, Greg Mullins [NCHS athletic director] and I got to interact with every student every day during the screening process and it allowed me to build relationships even when the kids weren’t in school. Especially being my first year in the craziest of times, I was thankful for those few minutes a day to get to know the kids in a setting that they love. Greg has been so helpful in my transition to Nelson and with any day-to-day questions I have COVID-19 and beyond.”

Foster said she absolutely loves being in Nelson County.

“Everyone has been so welcoming and supportive since day 1 and I appreciate that. I have been given so many opportunities for personal and professional growth and I am really looking forward to what the future has in store,” she said.

Mullins said Foster is doing an outstanding job.

“She always puts the health and wellness of our student-athletes first and works with our student-athletes to get them back into competition as soon as safely possible,” Mullins said. “Frances does an outstanding job communicating with all stakeholders, including student-athletes, coaches, parents and administrators. She has been an invaluable addition to not only the athletic department at NCHS, but also the entire school community.”

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