The United States Sports Academy recently bolstered its commitment to global sport education through a successful tour of nations by President and CEO Dr. T.J. Rosandich dedicated to expanding the Academy’s positive impact around the world.
Rosandich, who has been central to the Academy’s international programs for more than 30 years, made a month-long journey ending in early February that included meetings with key leaders in sport, education and government in China, Malaysia, Switzerland, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates. The following is an update on some key projects with the nations visited.
The Academy’s longtime relationship with Thailand to educate sports leaders in that country is continuing this year as the Academy is conducting its International Certification in Sports Coaching (ICSC) and International Certification in Sports Management (ICSM) programs in Bangkok, programs that have been in place more than a decade.
Both certification programs prepare participants for leadership roles in sport. The ICSC program includes a wide range of coaching and related administrative skills, while the ICSM program includes management topics such as sports event planning, marketing and public relations, and facilities.
Approximately 50 students annually are drawn from the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) and its affiliated sport organizations around the country to attend each of the certification programs, with a total of 100 students involved each year. Following the conclusion of the classroom portion of the program, which is provided by Academy National Faculty, the SAT selects the best students from each program for a special study tour of sport in America. A delegation of approximately 15 students and administrators from the SAT takes part in an educational tour of various sports organizations and venues for two weeks from coast to coast in the United States, including a visit to the Academy.
Coursework for 2017 began in January and runs through June, followed by the sports study tour in September. The Academy and the SAT have a Memorandum of Understanding to extend cooperation in sports education and training through 2020.
United Arab Emirates
The Academy continues to play a key role in the enhancement of football (soccer) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) under a cooperative effort to train football administrators through a Football Club Operators License Program with the United Arab Emirates Football Association (UAEFA).
The collaboration has led to the development of the Football Association Academy for Sports Management (FAASM), known as the Football Association Academy (FAA). This effort includes football certification programs that offer professional preparation and training designed to meet the needs of coaches, athletes, administrators and operatives at all levels in the UAE football club system. The FAA began offering classes in February 2016.
The Academy is providing the faculty and instruction for the program. The curriculum includes subjects such as sports administration, sports marketing, sports media, and facility and event management. Each subject has three levels of instruction through which successful students receive in succession a “C”, “B” and “A” level license.
The ultimate objective of the program is to enhance football in the UAE by improving the quality of the sport’s management.
The Academy’s work in Malaysia to enhance the quality of physical education teaching and sport coaching there continues to pay dividends. Since 2012, more than 2,200 teachers and coaches have been awarded diplomas for successfully completing the rigorous training program to improve their professional skills. Graduates of the International Diploma in Physical Education and Sport Coaching (IDPESC) program in turn improve the lives of tens of thousands of students under their influence.
Under the IDPESC program, the Academy’s faculty provide 10 modules of classroom instruction, each a week in duration, at numerous sites throughout the country. This is followed by a mentorship through which the participants are expected to satisfy a series of assignments to implement at their schools the lessons learned in the classroom. For example, the program has led to the successful physical fitness testing of more than 150,000 Malaysian boys and girls across all ages that has provided vital information to national policy-makers on the state of the health of the nation’s youth.
It is anticipated that the IDPESC program in Malaysia will continue this spring with a new group of participants.
Here are some additional highlights of the international relations tour:
People’s Republic of China
In the People’s Republic of China, the Academy president met with officials of the Capital University of Physical Education and Sports (CUPES), the Federation of University Sports of China (FUSC) and additional sports leaders in Beijing and Shanghai. In Shanghai, discussions focused on the future extension of the International Diploma in Sports Coaching (IDSC) program. Conducted by the Academy and the Shanghai Administration of Sports (SAS), the program provides classroom instruction, experiential learning, and educational travel to the United States for former elite athletes in the Shanghai area to prepare them for careers in coaching and athletic related fields.
The Academy president met with several key international sport and education leaders in Switzerland to discuss sport education initiatives. Organizations included the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI); the European University Business School; and the International Labor Organization (ILO), whose interest in sport lies in its potential to elevate humanity through helping the United Nations achieve its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Academy is currently in discussions with these organizations regarding future cooperative educational efforts.
The Academy has been involved in sports related education and outreach programming with more than 65 countries around the world since its founding in 1972.
Based in Daphne, Ala., the United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. It offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs as well as certificate programs. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.