Sam Borkovic explores how her work in this new role supports gender-equitable athletic programming and a holistic approach to student-athlete wellness.
I am standing in the Warner Arena. The Ragin’ Ravens and Ravenscroft families are holding up their pointer fingers, waiting in anticipation. There is a collective sigh of relief as our serve goes in. We are mesmerized as the rally unfolds — then cheers erupt! We won 25-20! The undefeated varsity girls volleyball team are TISAC champions, defeating crosstown rival NRCA in three sets to take the conference title. The team is ecstatic, tears are flowing, hugs are shared and families celebrate. It is a beautiful culmination of months of hard work and development for the program, and as the new Director of Student-Athlete Well-being, I have gotten to witness this growth.
Ravenscroft has a long and established history of supporting student health and wellness. We are a leading example within the independent school community for our policies, practices, principles and programs. We furthered this investment in Framing Our Future, our 2022 strategic plan, which specifically calls for us to expand clinical support for our students, provide additional support to the student-athlete experience and recognize gender equity in sports. Through generous funding from members of our community, the position of Director of Student-Athlete Well-being was created earlier this year.
In this role, I serve as a clinician embedded within the Athletics Department. This model is similar to our three divisions, where the counselor serves on the leadership team as a mental health expert and voice on student affairs. My prior experience as a counselor allows me to meet with student-athletes and teams about their performance. Another essential use of my time is to consult and partner, working closely with the Athletic Department — including coaches, athletic trainers, and mentors and student leaders in S.A.L.T. — as well as the Physical Education Department, the counseling and health team, and, of course, families. This partnership with various members of our community ensures our student-athlete experience is holistic and comprehensive.
This graphic shows the many aspects of the student-athlete experience with which Director of Student-Athlete Well-being Sam Borkovic engages.
Here are just a few of the initiatives we have underway as a result of this new position:
Team of the Week spotlight emails to students in Middle and Upper School and faculty and staff
Girls in Sports Showcase for each season
TISAC Girls in Sports Symposium — more details to come
Celebration of National Women and Girls in Sports Day, Feb. 2 in conjunction with the Winter Pep Rally
NCFC Leaders in Sports Career Panel for Upper School students, Feb. 29
Senior Athlete Recognition Ceremony, in conjunction with the Spring Pep Rally
The Girls in Sports Day showcased fall-season sports including varsity volleyball, top right, and varsity field hockey, at bottom.
Athletics is a cocurricular part of the Ravenscroft education. This new position further enables us to add services to our community and build a more comprehensive student-athlete experience. We recognize the complex and interdependent world our student athletes are embarking on and want to ensure they have the fundamental skills and resources to be leaders wherever they go after Ravenscroft.
Read more about the positive impact of sports on girls — and how Ravenscroft is prioritizing gender equity in athletic programming — in this Spring 2023 feature, “School Celebrates Female Athletes as Title IX Hits 50.”