We covered a lot in the 2021 BreakThrough Summit. Here’s a recap of our favorite moments from the event. 

December 2021 marked the third annual BreakThrough Summit, a free digital leadership summit created by Hudl and WeCOACH designed to develop and celebrate women in sports and their allies. We welcomed back our powerhouse emcee, ESPN Basketball Analyst LaChina Robinson who brought energy to every conversation. We also heard from more than 20 notable women in sports who don’t just “stick to sports,” including Becky Hammon, Julie Foudy, Tara VanDerveer and Dr. Condoleezza Rice to name a few.

Not only did this lineup of speakers tackle difficult conversations around representation and the power of sports to shape young women, but they left attendees enlightened and inspired to continue fighting through the feelings of defeat and burnout many have felt recently and pull our passion to the surface again.

Our panel, SHEroes Blazing a Trail for Other Women, brought the real talk when it comes to breaking barriers in your own mind to allow yourself the space and energy to go after everything that you deserve and more as a woman in sports. 

Whether you’re a woman on the front lines or in the front office, it all starts with mindset. Trailblazer Becky Hamon will be the first to say “the greatest barrier was myself” when speaking on how she overcame challenges as a player and continues to show up everyday, especially in her new role as head coach of the Las Vegas Aces.

All we need is an opportunity. Once we receive that opportunity we will knock down the door. We will kick down the door. We will run through the door. Violet Palmer, Pac-12 Conference Coordinator of Officials

If the door is not open and there’s only a window you must “get as much as you possibly can from that window before it closes” as Sam Rapoport NFL Senior Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion put it. The speakers' candor and tenacity challenged us all to ask ourselves: how is my mindset making a difference? It's time to allow your mindset to push you out of your comfort zone and into new heights.

Every speaker at BreakThrough Summit stressed the importance of growing the pipeline of women in sports. From mentorship to allyship, everyone has a responsibility to open the door for the next young woman to get in the room. So where do we start? Yes, seeing people in leadership positions who look like you is incredibly important, but as Coach Tara VanDerveer mentioned, “we need to train and mentor young women who want to be in coaching, and give them the foundation to start and be able to learn. And we need to put them in situations where they can make mistakes without being fired and never getting hired again.”

We need people who already have a seat at the table to be allies and help elevate the visibility of women in sport. While we know that empowered women, empower women, it's also true that growing the pipeline is the responsibility of everyone. Sam Rapoport put it simply “we need men to decide they’re willing to take a personal risk to help elevate others by opening a door and trying something that they know is right.” 

It’s wonderful if you can find mentors and role models that look like you, but the most important thing is to find mentors who care about you and will advocate for you. Dr. Condolezza Rice, 66th United States Secretary of State

Final Note

The 2021 BreakThrough Summit covered a lot of ground—from social injustice and the pandemic to coaching gen z and being a SHEro that blazes the trail for other women. Each session left us feeling empowered to continue to push forward, not only for ourselves but for the future generations of women to come. 

Didn’t have a chance to join us for our 2021 event? Catch all the session recordings on our website.