Girls in Sport Leadership Summit: Meghan Duggan '06, Keynote
Over 50 young women representing 15 New England boarding schools came together at Cushing on April 22 for an empowering celebration of female leadership during the 2019 Girls in Sport Leadership Summit.
The day began with a keynote from three-time U.S. Olympic women’s hockey medalist and 2018 team captain Meghan Duggan ’06, who demonstrated strength, humor, and vulnerability as she shared personal stories of goal-setting, reflection, passion, and perseverance, both on and off the ice.
Outlining her guiding principles for leadership, Meghan urged attendees to work from the ground up: take time to envision goals; communicate with others; pause to reassess or redirect; and execute together. “As a captain, you need to find different ways to communicate with your teammates to be effective. Pay attention to body language and continue to listen… When you recognize when there’s a problem and if there needs to be change, don’t be afraid to pull the cord and ‘stop the line.’ Go back to communicating. Go back to that vision. Assess and move forward.”
During a Q&A session following her address, Meghan reflected on her own path as an athlete and as a leader. “I’ve had a lot of great mentors along the way and I’ve learned that if you are willing to work, you’ll be given opportunities.”
The participants then attended a series of three interactive workshops, each of which challenged the young leaders to consider and explore aspects of leadership including conflict management, sacrifice, promoting positive team culture, and the importance of owning your space as a female athlete and leader. A dynamic lunch panel offered the students an opportunity to hear more from three of the workshop leaders as they addressed questions related to sport-specialization, the importance of developing self-awareness, and the process of building trust with teammates.
Said Cushing faculty member and event organizer Dr. Jennifer Willis, “Now in its second year, the Summit proved to be a powerful day in which young leaders capitalized on the opportunity to hear from strong female role models and received affirmation for the contributions they are making to strengthen their teams and their schools.”