Three Tiger athletes boarded a plane to Indianapolis on Jan. 17 to attend the National Collegiate Athletic Association Conference, an event aimed at reviewing legislative proposals and allowing students to network with those in their prospective career fields.
Senior Davis King, junior Ivy Claflin and sophomore Maggi Linker represented Trinity at the event, which hosted representatives from Division III schools across the country. The NCAA Division III Strategic Initiative Grant gave the Tigers the opportunity to participate in various activities at the convention, from workshops to volunteer opportunities. All three athletes had to apply to the program. They cited different reasons for wanting to attend.
“I wanted to attend the convention to learn more about how NCAA rules are developed and implemented,” Linker said.
Claflin and King attended because of the extensive networking opportunities.
“I was hoping it would provide me with opportunities to connect with potential employers post-graduation,” Claflin said.
Although the Tigers participated in many different activities while there, all three students shared a favorite part of the convention: working with youth who participate in the Special Olympics, a partner of the Division III Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
“One of my favorite parts was getting to play kickball with kids who participate in the Special Olympics,” King said.
Claflin wants to work with children with disabilities when she graduates, so being able to have this experience while connecting with Special Olympics employees was unforgettable.
“The energy was so vibrant and it was such a beautiful experience. The gym was all smiles and everyone was jumping up and down and cheering, whether they were a Special Olympic athlete, a DIII athlete, an NCAA employee or a parent. You never outgrow that kind of thing,” Claflin said.
Each student walked away with one key piece of information that they felt was important in the scope of intercollegiate athletics.
Linker, a psychology major, attended a talk on mental health in college sports, which she found valuable.
“I took away the growing importance of this matter throughout the sports world,” Linker said.
Davis, a finance major, attended a presentation on sports technology. He explained that new changes in sport technology are going to allow coaches to objectify performance, predict performance, prevent injuries, improve competitive strategy and more.
“After hearing from two speakers on what the future holds, I am excited to see how sports will adapt and change,” King said.
Claflin took a holistic approach when discussing her key takeaway.
“I learned how much goes into creating the best experience possible for NCAA athletes,” Claflin said.
The 2019 NCAA Convention will be held in Atlanta and will continue the discussion on issues that impact college sports.