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Love of sports leads former Scrapperette to athletic training

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Kristen Busby, a former Scrapperette, is the new athletic trainer for the Hope School district.

By John R. Schirmer
News-Leader staff

Kristen Busby has always liked sports medicine. Her mom, Stacey Busby, is a physical therapy assistant at Howard Memorial Hospital’s Fitness and Rehabilitation Center. “I’ve always been around it,” she said of sports medicine.

Busby also likes sports in general. She was a member of the Nashville Scrapperette softball team which won the 2010 and 2012 state championship, and she still plays softball along with her mom and dad, Jeremy Busby.

Now, she’s combined her love for sports medicine and her interest in high school sports into a position as athletic trainer in the Hope School District.

Busby graduated from Nashville High School in 2012.

She received her bachelor of science degree in athletic training from the University of Central Arkansas in 2016. She applied for the program her sophomore year at UCA. During clinicals, she worked with schools in a number of sports, including football, volleyball, softball, soccer and track. Schools were Conway High, Pulaski Academy, Conway Christian, Central Baptist College and a camp at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

From UCA, Busby went on to graduate school in Texas. In August, she received her master’s degree in athletic administration from Texas A&M-Commerce. She was a graduate assistant while working on her master’s. The one-year degree program was intense, according to Busby. “I had homework during Christmas and homework on the beach.”

Busby now is the head athletic trainer at Hope, where she works with student-athletes in all sports. For the fall semester, her main focus is high school football, but she also attends basketball practice, cheerleader practice, golf and tennis. In addition, Busby works with junior high.

As trainer, she’s involved with “all sports. I also teach Foundations of Sports Medicine and Sports Medicine Injury Assessment. I’ve made my curriculum from scratch.”

Busby teaches five classes per day in addition to her job as athletic trainer.

“Everything is going well so far,” she said. “I like the high school setting. I wish we had more athletic trainers.”

Busby said her future “depends on Hope High School. I may go back to school, or I may stay in sports medicine. If I go, I want to get into occupational therapy. I want to do athletic training. I want to do occupational therapy.”

Eventually, “I’d like to have my own sports medicine facility and gym. I’d like to have a rehab clinic with trainers, physical therapy and occupational therapy. That’s why I got a degree in athletic administration.”