by CHAMPS - Vanderbilt Football's Alex Washington just returned from the NCAA National Student-Athlete Leadership Conference, May 24-27 at Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Washington was among the 600+ student-athletes from Division I, II and III colleges and universities across the country who attended the conference.
"It was a great experience," Washington said. "I had a lot of fun making connections with student-athletes from other schools and particpating in the workshops."
Washington looks forward to utilizing the information he took away from the conference to make a difference on Vanderbilt's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) in the Fall.
The NCAA National Leadership Conference is a forum in which student-athletes have an opportunity to enhance their leadership and decision-making skills and discuss key issues in intercollegiate athletics that affect them on their campus and in their community. The NCAA National Leadership Conference also promotes better communication among student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty and communities. The conference consists of daily exercises and activities to help the student-athletes develop as individuals and as contributing members to society.
During the leadership conference, student-athletes will discuss a variety of topics such as sportsmanship, substance abuse, social networking sites, hazing, recruiting climate, professional development and integrating student-athletes into campus. They will also discuss division-specific issues, create dialogue surrounding possible solutions to division-specific issues and discuss potential career direction. In addition to the speaker and discussion sessions, the student-athletes will participate in initiative and team building games at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. Coaches, athletics administrators and program facilitators will also attend. In addition, members from each division's national SAAC will facilitate at the event. SAAC provides feedback to NCAA committees and councils regarding student-athlete well-being issues and is the "voice" of the student-athlete within the NCAA governance structure.