BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. – Over 30 student-athletes, coaches and administrators attended the 21st annual Southern Conference Student-Athlete Leadership Institute (SALI) this weekend at the Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, N.C.
Throughout the weekend participants took part in group discussions and team building exercises that allowed each person to develop practical leadership skills and create friendships with individuals from different schools and sports across the league.
“One of the phenomenal things about SALI is that it is treated like a championship,” said NCHSAA Deputy Commissioner Que Tucker, who attended the event and facilitated discussions. “So much goes into putting it together so that the student-athletes can learn leadership skills and develop confidence to go back to their institutions and use their voices to make changes on campus.”
Tucker and Kevin Ringhofer, a national trainer and consultant specializing in prevention and health promotion, moderated discussions and implemented activities designed to identify the various aspects of leadership. The group also reflected on the significant topics that affect their daily lives as students, athletes and administrators, including nutrition, time management and on-campus resources. These conversations provided the opportunity for attendees to learn from their peers and take what information they have gained back to their campuses to improve their experiences, individually and collectively.
Conference Commissioner John Iamarino addressed the group in an informal session, where participants were able to learn about conference happenings and plans. UNC Greensboro Athletic Director Kim Record spoke to the group, challenging each individual to return to their institutions and have their voices heard.
The group shared ideas for campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) projects and participated in a Skype session with Ryan Sharry, the SoCon Representative to the National SAAC and cross country runner at Mercer University.
Friendships were formed, ideas were generated, and every student-athlete, coach and administrator left with an aspiration to make improvements on campus and within the league.