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2017 Athlete Leadership Connection

WHAT:  The annual Athlete Leadership Connection, a full-day event dedicated to advancing and inspiring champion women athletes

WHO: Ninety champion and college athletes who are either currently competing and seeking leadership development or transitioning from a competitive sports career to their next career or from academic to professional life.

October 17, 2017

WHERE: Morgan Stanley Headquarters, New York City


On October 17, 2017, the WSF hosted the third annual Athlete Leadership Connection conference at Morgan Stanley’s headquarters in New York City. It was a full day of speakers, panels, interactive workshops and networking with 90 champion and college athletes and numerous sports industry leaders.

WSF Founder Billie Jean King and sportscaster Michelle Yu led an inspiring keynote where King expressed, “pressure is a privilege and we are reminded of that privilege through sport.” Following the keynote, the Foundation hosted sessions to discuss practical skills and guidance on how to help athletes advance in their athletic careers and when transitioning to other fields. College student-athletes learned how to leverage their networks and identify their transferable skills from the field to the boardroom. Champion athletes participated in networking roundtables and were matched with industry professionals in one-on-one mentoring sessions.

Paralympian Scout Bassett said, “I had such an amazing experience. It’s really encouraging to know that there are several different turns you can take…There’s no right or wrong way”

The afternoon’s closing keynote was presented by 1984 Paralympian, and CEO of Blue Circle Leadership Institute, Bonnie St. John, and WSF CEO Deborah Antoine. They discussed life decisions, taking risks and choosing the road less traveled as athletes navigate the next phase in their lives. Interactive sessions with The NY Mets and Ohio University Sports Administration Program concluded the day.

The conference was made possible by our Athlete Leadership Connection Partners – WSF National Partners Chevrolet, espnW, FOX Networks Group, Gatorade and NBC Sports Group, as well as our event partners Citizen Watch USA, the New York Mets and the Ohio University Master of Sports Administration Program.