Photo courtesy of the IWLCA.
2024 Leadership Academy Prompts Record Attendance
The 2024 IWLCA Multiracial Students Leadership Academy kicked off Sunday evening, January 7, with the largest group of participants the academy has seen to date. With the addition of several student-athletes from the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) programs, this year’s academy has 70-plus participants.
"We are very excited that several of our field hockey student-athletes will be participating in the IWLCA Future Leaders of the Game: Multiracial Students Leadership Academy alongside the lacrosse participants," said Becca Main, NFHCA Director of Coach Education & Member Services. "This type of programming can be transformative for the individual student-athlete, but more importantly, it can help them expand their networks to include other athletes and coaches from multiple institutions, so they have broad-based support as they navigate their collegiate experience. We are thrilled to collaborate with the IWLCA to offer this opportunity for student-athletes at our member institutions and look forward to continuing to work together on future initiatives that benefit both sports."
Moderated by former collegiate coach and current Director of Sport for Lacrosse at Athletes Unlimited, Abi Jackson, this group of young aspiring leaders opened session one by being introduced to a diverse group of coaches in the lacrosse community that would go on to lead breakout discussions in smaller groups. A powerful TEDx video featuring Dr. Tiffany Jana, Founder of TMI Consulting and author of Erasing Institutional Bias, jump-started conversations on the power of privilege and how it has molded the current climate that BIPOC athletes have to navigate today.
"The Leadership Academy provides an invaluable opportunity for participants to grow as individuals and create a larger community of support for themselves as they navigate their collegiate experience," said Jennifer Wong, Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach at the University of California, Berkeley. "Experiences like this can have a significant impact on the individual student-athletes participating and have a ripple effect on their campus as they use what they learned to educate, empower, and inspire their peers to create positive change. I am honored to have been part of the planning committee for the event, and excited to serve as a facilitator and interact with the participants."
The Academy continues Tuesday night, January 9, with a group discussion for session two. On January 11, there will be a featured presentation by Senior Vice President at USA Lacrosse, Cara Morris and a third group discussion session on January 15. Joining the Academy on January 17 for a final featured presentation is certified Mat Pilates instructor, Wellness Coach, and Personal Trainer, Zha Dadson. The academy will wrap up with a closing social on Thursday, January 18, that includes numerous leaders from the IWLCA, NFHCA, USA Lacrosse, and other organizations working to serve BIPOC youth lacrosse players.
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