Snell-Shillingford Participants Reflect on Outstanding Experience

Julie Hanss, Katie Zichelli, Paige Walton
Julie Hanss, Katie Zichelli, Paige Walton

Snell-Shillingford Symposium Website

Swarthmore, Pa. – Haverford College sophomores Paige Walton (women's lacrosse) and Julie Hanss (women's soccer) joined head women's lacrosse coach Katie Zichell at the 2018 Snell-Shillingford Symposium hosted by the Centennial Conference at Swarthmore College from January 26-28. In addition to those participants, Haverford College head women's soccer coach Jamie Schneck presented at the symposium on "Planning with the end in mind."

The 19th annual weekend-long event brings together female athlete representatives and coaches from the conference's member schools to participate in sessions designed to empower women in the coaching profession and to encourage them to take up the legacy of those who have come before them.

The group, which included student-athletes from each of the Centennial Conference's 11 institutions, spent time listening to guest speakers as well as an assortment of current Centennial coaches, who imparted the lessons they have gleaned over the course of their careers.

"I loved going to the Snell-Shillingford Symposium this year," stated Hanss. "It was an incredible experience and it taught me so much about the history of women in sports. It was an absolute privilege to hear firsthand from a legendary player and coach like Jen Shillingford as she has contributed so much to thousands of female athletes and coaches."

Walton echoed those same sentiments by saying, "Attending the Snell-Shillingford Symposium was a great experience for me as a female college athlete. By learning about the history of women in sports as well as the ins and outs of Title IX and its impact in the athletic world and beyond, I left feeling much more informed and appreciative of female college athletics."

She continued by explaining that, "I found the exposure to other athletes and coaches specifically within the Centennial Conference extremely rewarding. I am excited to be able to apply this newfound leadership knowledge and historical context to my future experiences on and off the field."

Symposium sessions included such topics as Embracing Our Shared Women's Sport HistoryMaking Difficult Decisions and Constructing your Coaching Philosophy.  The event also included a dinner panel discussing career development, networking, and training for student-athletes who are aspiring coaches and administrators.

For Hanss, the opportunity to work alongside her fellow Centennial Conference student-athletes outside of the competition setting is something she will always cherish. "My favorite part of this symposium was hearing from and meeting athletes and coaches from schools in our conference. I would never have had the opportunity to become friends with people from some of our rival schools if it weren't for this symposium, and that is something I truly appreciate. I learned so much from learning about how different coaches have been impacted by Title IX and I know this symposium will impact how I coach my club soccer team."

The symposium, honors the contributions and commitment of two of the most influential women in the coaching profession, Eleanor Frost Snell and Jen Shillingford.

Miss Snell, as she was known to her students, served Ursinus College as a professor of health and physical education, coach, and head of the women's physical education department for four decades, from 1931 to 1971.

In keeping with the program's emphasis on mentoring and passing on the education of coaches from one generation to the next, the symposium also bears the name of Snell's student and mentee, Jen Shillingford, who served as field hockey coach and athletic director for over 20 years at Bryn Mawr and also as president of the United States Field Hockey Association (USFHA).