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May 24, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Virginia rower Kerry Maher (Welland, Ontario) has been selected to participate in the 2006 NCAA Leadership Conference next week in Florida.

A rising senior at UVa, the team tri-captain earned second-team All-South Region and All-ACC honors this season. Rowing for UVa’s nationally ranked varsity eight crew, she helped the varsity eight to the 2006 ACC championship.

The NCAA has selected 352 student-athletes who have been tabbed as current or future leaders on their college campuses for the 10th annual NCAA Leadership Conference, which serves as a forum to enhance leadership and decision-making skills and provides an opportunity to discuss key issues in intercollegiate athletics. The leadership conference will take place, just outside Orlando.

The 2006 NCAA Leadership Conference provides student-athletes with a forum to openly discuss issues that may affect them on their campuses and in their communities, while also providing them with the opportunity to enhance their communication and leadership skill sets. The NCAA Leadership Conference also promotes better communication among student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty and communities. The conference consists of daily exercises and activities to help the student-athletes develop as individuals and as contributing members to a group.

During the leadership conference, student-athletes will discuss a variety of topics such as sportsmanship; public perceptions of student-athletes; conflict resolution; student-athlete mental health; and social responsibilities. They also will discuss division-specific issues, create dialogue surrounding possible solutions to division-specific issues, and discuss potential career direction. In addition to the speaker and discussion sessions, the student-athletes will participate in teambuilding initiative games at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex.

Following the leadership conference, the student-athletes will be asked to share their experiences and topic discussions with their campus SAAC, as well as other campus leaders. The participants also are asked to develop an action plan that addresses an issue on their campus or in their community and implement the plan once they return to their schools.

The student-athlete leaders were selected from a total of 1,319 nomination forms that were submitted by college and university officials who have NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills programs on their campuses. They represent Divisions I, II and III, and fall, winter and spring sports.

Selection criteria for the conference include the student-athletes’ demonstrated ability and strong desire to be a leader and the student-athletes’ potential to benefit significantly from a leadership development experience. In order to be eligible for the conference, the student-athletes must be in good academic standing, and have athletics eligibility remaining in the following academic year.

For complete NCAA release and list of participating student-athletes, please visit:NCAA Leadership Conference Release.

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