DOVER, Del. - Junior Tionne Graves-Brown and sophomore Britini Shawen were student-athlete representatives for Wesley College and the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) during the NCAA Convention.
The annual NCAA Convention was held from Jan. 18-21 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn. The four-day convention had a variety of activities and meetings, with the final day being devoted to debates and voting by delegates of each NCAA institution.
Shawen was chosen as a representative by the CAC through the conference's annual NCAA Strategic Grant Fund while Graves-Brown was a recipient of the NCAA Ethnic Minority Grant.
"Seeing the different connections across divisions was eye-opening," Graves-Brown stated. "Witnessing administrators, athletic trainers, coaches and other student-athletes support each other was cool to see. Also, observing those administrators get passionate about different pieces of legislation that was brought up was an experience that many student-athletes don't get to see and I am very appreciative that I got a chance to be a part of it.
"It was definitely a rewarding experience," Shawen expressed. "I got a chance to network with people, not only from our conference, but people from across all of the NCAA divisions and nationwide. Now I have these life-long connections with them and that would benefit greatly in the future."
One of the many activities that student-athletes got to participate in was spending an afternoon with Special Olympians from Tennessee.
"Interacting with the Special Olympians was a good break from the meetings," Shawen said. "Getting a chance to have fun and be themselves was so memorable. That is something that I would like to do more of at Wesley and volunteer my time with worthy causes."
One session that stood out to both Shawen and Graves-Brown was the mental health seminar at the Convention.
"Even though athletes are taught to be tough, it was a great learning experience to see that mental health and sports psychology has become important issue in all of the NCAA," Shawen said. "I learned that having good mental health has a lasting impact on an athlete's well-being."
"If you get the opportunity to go… Go!" Graved-Brown encouraged. "It was such an amazing experience and I would recommend anybody with the chance to attend the experience, to go!"