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The Peach Belt Conference hosted its third annual Women in Athletics Seminar on Tuesday, bringing together nearly 90 Division II female student-athletes to learn about professional opportunities for women in collegiate athletics.
For the first time, the Peach Belt opened the event to other Division II schools in the Southeast Region, with seven institutions from Conference Carolinas, the South Atlantic Conference and the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference taking advantage of the opportunity.
The 90 student-athletes in attendance was the most in the three years of the event. Twelve of the 13 Peach Belt Conference schools were also represented.
“I wanted to get as much information as I could about what it takes to make it in athletics,” said Sarah Hebberd, senior lacrosse player at Pfeiffer.
“My concerns are about self-branding and networking, and sometimes just getting a foot in the door can be the hardest part. Hearing from professional women who are in the sports world and how they took those first steps is really inspiring.”
The seminar began with an interactive panel presentation giving student-athletes the chance to ask questions women in a variety of roles in college athletics. The panel included experts in coaching, sports medicine, promotions, consulting and athletics administration, including the NCAA’s Delise O’Meally.
Joni Comstock, NCAA senior vice president for championships, delivered the keynote address.
“I’m doing a bit of a recruiting job to make them understand that we need great people and that they can do so many different things in athletics,” Comstock said. “I visit four or five of these across the country each year. What I really like about this one is that it allows these young women to get to know each other and also the coaches and administrators who were nice enough to take some time from their days to bring them here.”