Updated: Nov 2
Uncommon Sports Group seeks to develop Christ-centered future leaders of the college and pro sport industry. One way that USG develops future leaders of sport is by funding its members to attend conferences, conventions, and events that develop them as followers of Christ and sport industry professionals. Earlier this month, USG funded two USG members with the opportunity to attend the Women Leaders in Sports National Convention in New Orleans, LA, on October 8-10. The Women Leaders in Sports Convention offers women working in the sport industry an opportunity to learn from keynote speakers and connect with over a thousand women working across the industry.
One of our members who attended the convention was Alexis Conaway, presently the Director of Beach Volleyball Operations Graduate Assistant at Louisiana State University. Below is Alexis' testimony on her experience at the Women Leaders in Sports Convention:
"The Women Leaders in Sports Convention involved three days of nonstop encouragement and empowerment. Over 1300 women (and a few brave men) from all spheres of the athletic world gathered to support each other and celebrate the work they feel called to pursue. As someone early in my career, it was inspiring to learn from driven athletic directors and company presidents who are also loving wives and moms. They shared about the importance of bringing our full selves to the workplace, regardless of how we feel it might be received. The 'Lunch with Leaders and Legends' provided a neat opportunity to chat directly with a woman who is rocking it!
While I enjoyed meeting new people, it was a fun surprise to see many familiar faces as well. I reconnected with a past advisor I hadn’t seen in years and ran into a group of women still working at my alma mater, Iowa State University. A group of around 20 women from LSU attended, and it was sweet to share meals and get to know them more personally. A few, such as our sports psychologist, even led sessions at the convention. I now feel like I have a bigger support system of women all across campus I can go to whenever I need anything, women I may have never met otherwise.
The final morning, I met up with two fellow USG members attending the convention (at the New Orleans classic Café Beignet, of course!). It was so refreshing to take a step back and be reminded of the bigger picture of it all. We’re not just going after big things - we’re going after God's things. We’re not just celebrating our victories - we’re celebrating the Lord and what He is allowing us to be a part of. We’re not just advancing the sports world - we’re advancing the Kingdom. I left re-energized and ready to keep pressing into my role at LSU and whatever God calls me to in the future, grateful I am not in it alone!"
Another one of our members who attended the convention was Natalie Osborne. She is presently studying Performance & Sports Psychology at Grand Canyon University. Below is Natalie's testimony on her experience at the Women Leaders in Sports Convention:
"Attending the Women Leaders National Convention was such an encouraging experience for me. It was my first time in New Orleans, so it was fun to see some of the city. I had the opportunity to meet many incredible women working in sports, including many of faith.
I believe that this experience helped prepare me for my future by getting me out of my comfort zone to meet new people and network. I also heard about a lot of very relevant topics in sports, including emotional intelligence. I have even started to do my own research on this concept, which has made space for more conversations and growth.
My biggest takeaway from the weekend was that women need to support one another and lift each other up. There are so many different opportunities in sports, and each role is so important to have strong programs and success in sports. Instead of working against each other and competing for opportunities, we can support one another and cheer on other women working in sports. It was really fun for me to learn about all the potential positions supporting sports and how they interact with one another.
For my future career, I hope to work closely with these individuals to create the best experience for student-athletes. The Lord really put it on my heart to be open to new experiences and to lean on other women for support and encouragement. I got to meet up with two other girls from USG and felt so loved and cared for, even though we hadn’t met before. It’s been sweet to see those relationships start to grow from afar. It was such a blessing to get to do life with them for the weekend, learning and growing together. I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend the Women Leaders in College Sports conference!"
It is encouraging to see that Alexis and Natalie were impacted both spiritually and professionally at the Women Leaders in Sports Convention. We are grateful for both of their testimonies!
If you see the benefit of Christ-centered relationships and development in the sport industry, you can get involved with our community of Christians within the college and pro sport industry by applying to join our virtual training experience or connecting with our staff! We look forward to connecting with you.