Oswego State men’s hockey player Kristoffer Brun will be going to Washington D.C. this weekend to attend the NCAA Student Athlete Leadership Forum.
The forum takes place from Nov. 16 to Nov. 19 and brings together coaches, student athletes, faculty and administrators to take part in activities that build on leadership qualities. According to the NCAA, student athletes that are selected to go to the forum obtain a thorough understanding of the NCAA as a whole and return to campus with invaluable leadership skills.
Student athletes that are selected to go to this forum have to meet academic and athletic qualifications. The forum is about having a diverse representation of their student athletes and bringing them together to grow personally and professionally.
Brun was selected by Oswego State to represent the school along with women’s volleyball player Lauren Fie. The junior defense-man from Sweden said he is excited about the opportunity to go to Washington, D.C. and represent SUNY Oswego and Sweden.
“It’s a big honor for me to go for the school,” Brun said. “It’s going to be cool. Hopefully it’s something that looks good on my resume, and overall, it’s going to be a great experience for me. I’m excited.”
For Div. III athletes, the forum is open to all institutions in an identified region on a first come, first serve basis. Oswego State is one of the schools that was in the eligible region that can send student athletes to the forum this year. Brun was unaware of what the forum was when he first heard about being selected, but was excited about the opportunity to go.
“The first time I heard about it was when I got an email saying you’ve been selected by the school to do this, now we have to wait for the NCAA,” Brun said. “I was like, I don’t know what this is, but alright, sounds good.”
This is the first time an Oswego State student athlete has been selected to go to the Student Athlete Leadership Forum. When head coach Ed Gosek and the athletic department submitted Brun’s name to be involved in the forum, they were told that he would have a good chance. Brun and Oswego State were up against other schools in this region, including other SUNYACs, to see which school would be chosen.
The trip itself is free for Brun and all of the student athletes that attend the forum. The NCAA pays for the airfare, the housing and the meals. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that Brun could not pass up.
“Coming from Sweden, doing this for the school, for me personally, I think it’s a cool experience,” Brun said.
The one downside of going to the leadership forum is that it will take place during a weekend where Oswego State hosts two home games. Even though Brun will be missing time on the ice, Gosek is still excited about him going to Washington D.C. and representing Oswego State.
“It’s awesome,” Gosek said on Brun being selected to go to the forum. “We’re proud of him. It’s a great opportunity. We wish it wasn’t on a weekend where we had two games, but in the big scheme of things, it’s an awesome opportunity. So, for him to be able to go and experience Washington D.C., it’ll be an awesome experience for him.”
Brun is disappointed he cannot be on the ice with his teammates this weekend, but realizes that he has a big career opportunity in front of him. His teammates are also supportive of his decision to go to the forum. Brun said that this will be an experience that may open up doors for him in the future.
“The guys that I’ve talked to have said ‘oh that’s cool’ and that it’s going to be a good experience for you,” Brun said. “It sucks that I’m missing two home games, but you only get this chance once, and it’s a big career opportunity.”
Photo: Dominick Lioto | The Oswegonian