First Ever Intensive Diversity and Inclusion Professional Development Opportunity for Endurance Sport Leaders Announced

June 28, 2022

Shift Sports, Co-Founder of the Outspoken Summit, Launches the Inaugural Inclusive Sports Leadership Academy for the Endurance Sports Industry

Denver, Colorado, USA – June 28, 2022/ENDURANCE SPORTSWIRE/ – Shifts Sports, partner to the Outspoken: Women in Triathlon Summit, and trainer and advocate for diversity, equity, representation, and inclusion (DERI) in endurance sport, is launching the Inclusive Sports Leadership Academy (ISLA) on November 8 – 11, 2022. This 2.5-day immersive experience will precede the Outspoken Summit in Tempe, AZ. Applications are now open.

ISLA is the first professional development opportunity of its kind in endurance sport and fills a gap in endurance sports leadership education. It will bring together endurance sport athletes, coaches, and industry professionals to explore diversity, equity, representation, and inclusion in endurance sport.

ISLA is a 15 hour intensive professional development opportunity, facilitated by three long-term DERI educators and athletes. It is designed for a cohort of up to 15 endurance sport leaders to explore how to embed inclusion in their work. The inaugural cohort will not be new to diversity and endurance sport, but are ready to move to the next level of influence. Participants will spend 2.5-days exploring DERI concepts and practicing self-reflection. The cohort will uncover the ways in which they maintain systems of power in the profession and develop strategies to unlearn narratives about sport to become agents for social change in their spheres of influence.

The Academy is recommended for:

    • Endurance sport industry professionals
    • NGB/Federation staff and C-Suite leaders
    • Coaches
    • Race Directors
    • Endurance sport community entrepreneurs
    • Other endurance sport professionals looking to make lasting change in their endurance sport community and clubs, including athletes

Dr. Shaunna Payne Gold, co-founder of Shift Sports, long-time DERI educator, swim coach, endurance athlete, and [un]phased podcast co-host, shares: “Much has happened in the world – with or without a pandemic. The endurance sport industry doesn’t even realize how desperately we need experiences that connect who we are with what we do. ISLA is our brain child and it’s been incubating for a long time. ISLA is the much-needed synergy of sport and deep work on topics we love.” Dr. Lisa Ingarfield, Outspoken Summit and Shift Sports co-founder, triathlon and run coach, and co-host of the [un]phased podcast, agrees: “Launching the Outspoken Summit in 2018 was the tip of the iceberg for this work. With endurance sport’s desire to look inward since 2020, it became abundantly clear the profession needed training and education to help it name exclusionary systems and policies and then learn what to do about it. ISLA will provide this for Fellows.”

Although ISLA Fellows will have the opportunity to develop personally, the ISLA is a professional development opportunity enabling Fellows to return to their place of employment (and/or endurance sports club) and assist their colleagues in changing policy, practice, and perspective. Shift Sports encourages endurance sports leaders across disciplines and roles to apply to attend and/or send their employees as part of their annual professional development plan.

Skills and knowledge Fellows will gain from the ISLA include deconstructing sports narratives to understand how they perpetuate systems of exclusion and how to identify policy and practice areas in need of change. ISLA will provide an uninterrupted space for industry professionals to “go deep” and better understand the connection between personal and professional change.

University professor, co-founder of Shift Sports, Iron(wo)man, and founder of Fuerza Coffee, Dr. Gaby Nuñez is excited about bringing this educational opportunity to leaders in the endurance sports space: “Many athletes, coaches, and industry leaders do want to see a shift to more inclusivity in endurance sports. Many often ask, “How, how can we make the change?” ISLA provides the first step to understand how everyone is part of a larger fabric of possible change.” To yield the most benefit from the ISLA, Fellows should come prepared to explore their own privilege and marginalization, broadly and in the context of sport and employment, as well as coming with an open mind and a willingness to be vulnerable.

Entry into ISLA is by application only and endurance sports leaders can apply here. Scholarship opportunities are available for athletes interested in the ISLA and whose employer will not cover the cost of entry. Contact the ISLA team to learn more at lisa@shiftsports.org. The ISLA is accepting applications until August 1st.

About the ISLA Founders and Facilitators

Shaunna Payne Gold, EdD

​Dr. Gold is a DEI educator, administrator, entrepreneur, podcaster and philanthropist. Dr. Gold has 25 years of experience in diversity, equity, and inclusion, strategic planning, facilitation, Multicultural Organizational Development, Intergroup Dialogue, Racial Healing Circles, project management, executive coaching, and change management. As the Founder of Gold Enterprises, LLC, she was also selected as a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow in 2022. Dr. Gold is a multiple-time Ironman 70.3, marathoner, and long-distance swimmer. Dr. Gold is also a certified Adult Learn-to-Swim Instructor and certified Masters’ Swim Coach. Dr. Gold is originally from Southern Virginia and boymom to Trai (11) and Kendrick (8).

Gabriela Nuñez, PhD

Dr. Nuñez is an Associate Professor of Literature and Ethnic Studies, mom, endurance athlete, and entrepreneur. Gabriela currently teaches and develops courses in Latinx literature and culture with an emphasis on social justice and the environment at California State University, Fullerton. Gabriela is a proud “back of the pack” age-group triathlete. Without any athletic experience Gabriela launched into triathlon in her mid-30s, inspired by her friend Marisela Echeverria who was tragically killed in a cycling accident while training for a long-course triathlon race in 2012. Since then, Gabriela has raced regularly at the 70.3 distance and completed one 140.6 race in loving memory of her friend, Mari. Currently she is training to hike Mt. Whitney in California. Struck by the lack of diversity at triathlon races, Gabriela is focused on collaborating with athletes to create a culture of triathlon that is more accessible to everyone. Gabriela is also the founder and coffee maven of Fuerza Coffee.

Lisa Ingarfield, PhD

Dr. Ingarfield is an endurance sports coach and athlete, researcher, policy analyst (wonk!), and DERI consultant. She received her PhD in Intercultural Communication in 2014 and her work focuses on how inclusion and exclusion manifests in organizational and interpersonal communication. Prior to becoming a research and DERI consultant, Dr. Ingarfield worked for 15 years in the public sector supporting survivors of gender-based violence. In 2021, she received the Women’s Sports Leader award from the COMPETE Sports Diversity Council. Dr. Ingarfield also co-founded the Outspoken: Women in Triathlon Summit with Dr. Sara Gross and co-hosts the [un]phased podcast with Dr. Shaunna Payne Gold.

About ShiftSports

Shift Sports is a 501(c)3 organization that strives to shift endurance sports toward a culture of equity and belonging. We envision a global sports community that constantly values every athlete. Shift Sports consults with, and provides training to, endurance sports organizations on implementing inclusive sporting environments. Learn more at www.shiftsports.org.

Media, Sponsorship, and Partnership Inquiries

Dr. Gabriela Nunez, nunez.gabriela@gmail.com

Dr. Shaunna Payne Gold, shaunna@goldenterprisesllc.com

Dr. Lisa Ingarfield, lisa@tritodefi.com