Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

Bethke attends women's conference

Augustana varsity volleyball coach Kelly Bethke has been selected to attend the 2015 NCAA/NACWAA Women’s Leadership Symposium from May 20 to May 22 in Baltimore.
The list of attendees includes coaches, students, and administrators.The goal of the organization holding the conference, The NACWAA, or the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators, is a leadership organization dedicated to empowering, developing and advancing the success of women in the profession.
Bethke was selected from numerous applicants to attend the conference and received a grant to do so. One of her reasons for wanting to go to the conference is that college athletics is a male dominant field. Another is her interest in improving communications with the local media.
“Having a better relationship with the local media would be really great,” Bethke said. “I was really happy with how they covered us this past fall so I know that we can have a lot of excitement for our program as we continue to move things in the right direction. So I do think the program will help in that way.”
Bethke also added that she wants the Viking’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for the volleyball team to be updated more regularly and for the accounts to focus on assisting recruiting. Another reason why Bethke wants to focus on improving her relationship with the media at this conference is the variety of people there and the types of programs the people come from. She is one of few coaches attending the conference, and the majority of people attending the conference are from Division I programs. Bethke believes this will help her gain knowledge of media relations.
“The great thing about this conference is that it is not just Illinois, it is worldwide,” Bethke said. “There will be people coming with different backgrounds and coming from colleges that are different sizes and different types of media.”
Junior defensive specialist and Jack Swartz Award Winner Kylie Siebert had a lot of praise from Bethke for going to the conference, speaking highly of her initiative to apply to go to the conference. She also cited learning how to communicate with her players even better than she already does as one of the skills Bethke will likely improve on at the conference.
“Just to get that experience is awesome because not many coaches will gain the experience of going and learning what she will learn, and it is great that she is taking the initiative to go to these types of conferences,” Siebert said. “Communication is something that can always be improved upon and always learning and gaining new outlooks to improve communication within teams and thinking about year to year where we have new freshmen on each team and learning how to incorporate them and make them feel at home here.”
Bethke hopes that this conference will help her program transform into one of Augustana College’s best known programs.
“I would like volleyball to be one of the elite programs at Augustana College, and I would like people to know what we do,” Bethke said. “I want the community to be aware of our program, and I want our players to be more involved with the community with community service activities. I am sure I will get many more ideas when I am at the conference but just to have Augustana volleyball as one of the programs that people know and hear about.”

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Bethke attends women's conference