Three Luther College student-athletes attended the NCAA Career in Sports Forum, held June 5-8 in Indianapolis, Ind. The three were part of the 200 participants that were selected out of more than 1,100 applicants from all levels of the NCAA. Transportation, hotel accommodations, meals and program materials of the four-day forum was paid for by the NCAA.
This was the fifth year the NCAA Leadership Development department sponsored this event to provide student-athletes with a broader scope of the career tracks available within the sports business, with the primary focus on intercollegiate athletics.
During the forum, participants heard from keynote speakers and panelists who provided insights into their day-to-day duties and responsibilities and also learned best practices for gaining employment and gathering better understanding of what future expectations will be once they are employed.
Participants who expressed an interest in pursuing a career in sports and who were viewed as leaders on their campus were invited to the Career in Sports Forum after being nominated by the athletics administrators at their respective schools.
Luther student-athletes who attended the Career in Sports Forum were Shelby Steele ’14, women’s soccer (Rochester, Minn., Century), Dylan Smallwood ’16, football (Papillion, Neb., Papillion-La Vista South), , and Kylie Romeo ‘16, women’s basketball (Moline, Ill., Moline).
“Attending the NCAA Career in Sports Forum was such a rewarding experience,” stated Steele. “There were student-athletes from all over the country, and from all divisions, that came together to learn about leadership, values, networking, taking chances on opportunities, persevering through defeat, and finding out who we are and what we represent. Of course none of this would have been possible if it wasn't for the amazing NCAA staff and various coaches, and administrators that helped us better understand our career path in the athletic world. I will take away so much that I learned over the weekend, but one thing that really resonated with me was that you have to make sacrifices if you want to gain opportunities. You also need to have faith that the opportunities will come, be persistent and patient, because the people around you will notice the hard work that you are doing.”
“I am excited that our student-athletes had this amazing experience,” stated senior women’s administrator Renae Hartl. “We are so fortunate that the NCAA continues to provide opportunities like this one for us to grow and develop aspiring future coaches and administrators.”
Steele, a 2010 graduate of Century High School, finished her Luther soccer career as a three-year letter winner. She is the daughter of Steven and Colleen Steele of Rochester, Minn.