Furthering his lifelong interest in sport, His Majesty The King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa King of Kingdom of Bahrain issued a royal decree on 13 May 2021 establishing the Kingdom’s General Sports Authority (GSA), which will be affiliated with the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports (SCYS).
The GSA Board of Directors will work under the supervision of His Highness Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, who is the First Deputy President of SCYS, President of Bahrain General Sports Authority and President of the Bahrain Olympic Committee.
In a move that will bolster the United States Sports Academy’s longtime relationship with the island nation in the Middle East, President and CEO Dr. T.J. Rosandich has been appointed by royal decree to the Board of Directors of the newly formed GSA. Rosandich will serve as one of nine members of the GSA, a group charged with furthering the development of the Kingdom’s national sport effort.
“Having lived and worked in the Arabian Gulf region for ten years working on sport development, Bahrain was always one of my favorite places to be,” Rosandich said. “I was privileged to serve for a year in Bahrain as an advisor to the General Organization for Youth and Sports (GOYS), a predecessor to the GSA. At that time, His Majesty (then the Crown Prince) was the President of the SCYS and I was afforded the opportunity to meet with him from time-to-time concerning programs and projects through which I came to appreciate his passion for sports. This appointment reflects my expressed desire to continue working with the Kingdom and to contribute to the development of the national sport effort there.”
The Academy’s involvement in Bahrain goes back more than 40 years to the beginnings of the Academy’s international instruction, research and outreach programs. In 1977, the Academy worked with Bahrain GOYS to develop the national sports effort. The Academy introduced the Bahrain Sports Institute (BSI) whose education programs mirrored those of the Academy. The BSI also housed the first sports medicine and human performance research laboratories in the Gulf region as well as a modern strength and conditioning center.
The Academy also brought national caliber coaches to the country for several sports while simultaneously developing a physical fitness test used to gauge the fitness of every school-aged child in that country, providing the first profile of youth fitness in Bahrain. A descendant of that test is still used today. Since then, the Academy has participated in numerous programs in Bahrain focusing on physical education in schools, fitness, recreation, youth sports, the Bahrain National Olympic Committee, and fitness programs for police officers and a collaborative effort with the University of Bahrain.