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Bethlehem, Pa., November 2, 2004 -- Moravian College recently received a $25,000 NCAA Division III Initiative Grant in the area of membership education for the 2004-05 year. Kate Miller, head coach for Moravian’s women’s lacrosse team, prepared the grant application which will fund the “Snell Shillingford Symposium.”
Moravian will implement an initiative to encourage women from liberal arts colleges to enter coaching; to educate participants about the history and growth of women’s sports in the U.S.; to help participants gain specific skills related to coaching; [and] to help participants create a network of peers and potential employers, joined by a common interest in women’s sports and coaching. Miller states her target audience to be “female student-athletes at Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) institutions.”
Miller hopes to encourage awareness of the importance of both women’s sports and coaching as a viable career or avocation option for young female athletes. The coaching world is one in which female participants and role models are said to be dwindling.
Miller’s proposal outlines a plan for a weekend symposium in which female athletes from MAC colleges will be invited to participate by attending seminars and panel discussions on subjects crucial to coaching, such as skills teaching, and ethics in sports. They will have also the chance to interact with female athletes from other schools MAC, and coaches with a wide-array of experiences and background.
The program is modeled after an existing symposium that Miller ran at Bryn-Marr College. It carries a requirement that participants pass on, to peers or to younger girls, both the knowledge and the enthusiasm they will have gathered at the symposium by running or presenting a program on their own campus or in their local area.
“One of the driving ideas behind the inception of the symposium is the belief that it is important for female student-athletes to understand and appreciate the roots of Title IX.,” explained Miller. “Another is the wish to raise awareness in such athletes of the current status of women in coaching, such as the fact that only 44% of coaches of women’s teams are female, whereas in 1970, over 90% were, and that, of the 361 new jobs in the past two years, women have only been hired for thirty-five.”
“With these symposiums, we hope that female student-athletes who otherwise might not have considered coaching as part of their future will become aware of the call for female coaches, and will come to understand both the personal and the societal benefits of answering that call,” Miller said.
Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the Web site at www.moravian.edu