CONVENTION: Women In Coaching Event Continues To Grow

ORLANDO — The Women In Coaching Event took a hybrid form on Tuesday at the USTFCCCA Convention, which is being held at the Orlando Grande Lakes Resort.

See, two years ago in Phoenix, Arizona, Image Builders, Inc. CEO Denita Turner spoke to more than 100 female coaches about empowerment and projecting a positive image.

Then last year in San Antonio, the event eschewed a speaker for a roundtable discussion of topics ranging from “Coaching Male Athletes & Breaking Down Stereotypes” and the “Importance of Networking & Career Advancement.”

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Women who attended the Convention in both Phoenix and San Antonio told event coordinator Rhonda Riley, the head women’s cross country coach and assistant track & field coach at Duke University, that they got a wealth of information from both formats. So, Riley decided to combine both formats into the one held Tuesday.

Turner returned for the second time in three years and after she spoke, the more than 150 female coaches in attendance — representing each of the three NCAA divisions as well as the NAIA and NJCAA — broke into groups to discuss what they learned from the presentation and to network, which is the focus of the event.

"The more we can connect, the better it is for our sports," Riley said. "This is a great platform (USTFCCCA CEO) Sam Seemes has given to us. It’s important for the women at Convention to feel comfortable and to meet new females. We like to expand upon that throughout the rest of Convention, attend different symposiums together and take it from there."

That’s how the Women In Coaching Event continues to grow —.through networking.

"I can’t tell you how many women find out about this through word of mouth," Riley said. "They hear about it from a friend and it just goes from there. A lot of women recognize the importance of making connections and knowing that creating an all-inclusive community is important to help our sports grow."

This was the fifth consecutive year that the USTFCCCA Convention offered a women-centric program.