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Women's Tennis Blog: Natasha Marks
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 11/11/2010
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Nov. 11, 2010

This past weekend James Eichberger and I were chosen to represent the U of A at the fall Pac-10 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Conference. Two representatives were chosen from each of the Pac-10 schools to attend a three-day conference and talk about the roles of SAAC at each school and where the committee is heading on a national level. Eric Price, who represents the Pac-10, organized the whole weekend. As he is heavily involved in the tennis side, I knew him previously from our Pac-10 Championships in Ojai, CA. He is really nice and I want to thank him for this great weekend!

We left Tucson at midday on Friday and flew to Phoenix where we met the ASU representatives who were actually catching the same flight as us. We arrived in San Francisco and, as it happened, we had actually been paired with our rival team in the hotel which was fun! We had a meeting that night where we all got to know each other. I knew one other person from the meeting: the female representative from Washington State who is also a tennis player!

After numerous meetings, the group participated in The Special Olympics at a bowling alley in downtown San Francisco. We were all looking forward to it even though I really didn't know what to expect. We arrived and got partnered with someone from a different school and each pair represented a country. The bowling ally was the biggest bowling alley I had ever seen! I was partnered with UCLA and we were team England, which I was very pleased about. We spent the whole day bowling with the Special Olympics participants and it was so much fun. Everyone really enjoyed it.

After bowling we got back on the bus and Eric took us on a short tour of San Francisco and we stopped off at the beach on the way where I went in the water with my shoes on! For the rest of the day my feet were so cold. The beach was really nice. Two other girls and I actually took a picture with a few surfer dudes walking down the beach! That night we all went to dinner and headed back to the hotel.

The final day of the conference we awarded the leadership awards where the winning gets a grant to go to graduate school. I presented Ariane Masschelein, a former tennis player. She wound up winning the award, which was really fantastic. The last activity of the weekend was a team building exercise where we were told to build something in 15 minutes with only paper, tape and scissors. I'm not the most creative out there but we managed to build a stacked tower, which represented all the Pac-10 teams. After that, it was time to leave and both teams from Arizona left for the airport.

In all, I had a fantastic weekend and it was a great opportunity to represent Arizona at the conference. We met some great people.

Thank you to everyone in the Pac-10 and SAAC who organized this conference!

GO CATS!

Tash

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