Reconsider Walla decision |

Reconsider Walla decision

Dear Editor:(This was originally addressed to Mr. Bill Reader, commissioner of the Colorado High School Activities Association, and Dr. Diana Sirko, superintendent of the Aspen School District.)I was distressed to hear about the CHSAA’s decision to not provide a waiver to Aspen High School this fall which would enable Miss Kristin Walla to compete on the boys’ golf team. As a parent and a person who is involved in educational institutions on many levels, I believe we have a responsibility to provide our children with the best quality academic and extracurricular opportunities. This helps them attain the highest levels of personal development and sets standards of achievement for us all. Aren’t any possible downsides outweighed by the potential upsides?Miss Walla deserves a chance to try. I advocate that she must make the team and earn her spot according to the same rules set by the boys team and state high school requirements. If there is a level of uncertainty about Aspen High’s ability to field a girls team this spring, she should be given the benefit of the doubt. Her family’s assertions are correct in that honing her game in the most competitive circumstances will be beneficial to her. This is especially true if she aspires to play top-level collegiate golf. Why hold her back? We are doing a great disservice to Miss Walla, her fellow competitors and our community.I faced a similar situation during my high school years in the mid-’70s in Massachusetts. I was playing USGA Junior Girls golf and wanted to maximize my competitive experience. The state, and my high school, supported my effort to compete on the boys team as long as I played according to the same rules and tees. It was a challenging experience that served me well in my amateur and college golf at Duke University. I was grateful for the chance. That is why I am writing this letter to ask the Board and you to reconsider your decision. Let’s find ways for talented individuals to achieve their potential, not hinder it.Paula Hannaway CrownChicago and Aspen

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