SFC Prez appointed to NCAA Women’s Committee
Martinez-Saenz to help provide opportunities for female athletes
St. Francis College President Miguel Martinez-Saenz was appointed to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Committee on Women’s Athletics last week.
The Brooklyn Heights resident, who began helming the diminutive Remsen Street school in 2017 after replacing former President Brendan J. Dugan, will help lead the NCAA’s efforts to provide equitable opportunities, fair treatment and respect for all women in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics.
“Women make up more than 60 percent of our student body and our women’s athletics program is cornerstone to our institution’s overall mission,” said Martinez-Saenz, who helped introduce women’s soccer as the 10th NCAA Division I sport at SFC Brooklyn in 2019.
“There is no part of collegiate athletics I view as more important than advancing women’s roles within it,” he added. “I’m honored and grateful to the NCAA for allowing me to take on this responsibility.”
The NCAA, which is the primary governing body for college sports in the United States, represents more than 1,000 colleges and universities that designate themselves as Division I, II or III.
SFC Brooklyn is among those schools with the most teams and whose student-athletes compete at the highest level in Division I.
The school’s women’s teams also include basketball, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, cross-country, swimming and diving, golf, water polo, tennis and bowling.
“From the first day that President Miguel stepped foot on campus at St. Francis College, he has been a tremendous advocate for women’s sports,” said SFC Director of Athletics Irma Garcia.
“Under his leadership and forward-thinking, we added women’s soccer in June of 2018. The NCAA and our entire institution are fortunate to have a leader like President Miguel serve on this committee.”
Martinez-Saenz will begin his four-year term on the Committee in September.
The Committee has 18 members, with equal representation from all three divisions and among women and men. It is one of the 150 committees that govern the NCAA.
“Having our President sit on a national committee of this magnitude is something special as he will be able to advance the values and traditions of the NCAA with St. Francis and the Northeast Conference at the forefront,” added Garcia, who became the NCAA’s first-ever Latin-American female AD back in 2007. “I congratulate him wholeheartedly.”
The Long Island University Sharks’ women’s swimming and diving team, which holds its home at the LIU pool in Downtown Brooklyn, was one of six schools honored by the Northeast Conference for its commitment to fair play via the NEC Sportsmanship Awards last week.
It is the first time in the program’s six-year history that the Sharks have received the honor.
“There are few awards that we would consider more important than this one,” LIU Head Coach Matthew Donovan said. “This is a tremendous honor, especially as it comes from our peers in the NEC.
“Anyone that has ever been to the NEC swimming and diving championship meet knows first-hand how much positive energy there is for our sport within this conference. Any one of the teams in the NEC could have taken home this award. We are truly honored and humbled to accept this award for LIU.”
Instituted by league Presidents in 2008, the awards are designed to acknowledge the team in each conference sport that, in the opinion of its peers, most closely demonstrates good sportsmanship based on the NEC Principles of Sportsmanship and Standards of Conduct.
Voting is conducted at the conclusion of each season by each team and head coach, ranking teams within the conference based on a set of criteria.
“The NEC Council of Presidents are fully committed to the values of good sportsmanship and competing with integrity,” said NEC Commissioner Noreen Morris.
“I’m proud to congratulate the coaches and student-athletes from these five institutions for being recognized by their peers as the teams that best epitomized those values.”
LIU junior swimmer Amanda Peren was also named the Scholar Athlete of the Year in her respective sport by the NEC.
The Alexandria, Virginia native was named the Most Outstanding Swimmer at the NEC Championships in February after setting a pair of conference and school records in the 200-meter individual medley and the 200-meter freestyle.
Peren clocked in at 2:00.30 in the 200 IM and snapped a 14-year old record in the 200 freestyle with a time of 1:47.26.
She capped her weekend with a win in the 100-free in a school record time of 49.71. Peren also medaled in the 400-free relay (silver), the 400-medley relay (silver) and the 800-free relay (bronze).
Peren has been recognized on the NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll three years running. She is a Middle Childhood and Adolescence Education major with a near-perfect 3.95 grade-point average.
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