The United States Sports Academy (Academy) recently bolstered its international programs with the first tour of nations by Dr. Thomas J. Rosandich since he was named the Academy’s second president in November 2015. Rosandich, who has been central to the Academy’s international programs for more than 30 years, met in January 2016 with the Academy’s associates and colleagues in the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Singapore, China and Malaysia.
Highlights of the Academy’s recent educational activities abroad include:
The Academy’s work in Malaysia to enhance the quality of physical education teaching and sport coaching there has again paid dividends with the December 2015 awarding of diplomas to 880 teachers and coaches who successfully completed the rigorous training program to improve their professional skills. The latest graduates of the International Diploma in Physical Education and Sport Coaching (IDPESC) program, the third group since the program began in 2012, brings the total number to 2,200. These graduates in turn improve the lives of tens of thousands of students under their influence. It is anticipated that the IDPESC program in Malaysia will continue this spring with a new group of participants.
The Academy also is involved in a major program in Malaysia to enhance the nation’s National Service Training Program for youth who have completed secondary school. The program, “Training of the Trainers,” or TOT, is designed to assist Malaysia in its efforts to revitalize its National Service Training Program for non-college-bound youth. A team of Academy faculty trained Malaysian instructors on an array of physical fitness, sport and recreation topics who, in turn, will seek to impart these skills on hundreds of thousands of youth by improving their physical fitness, enhancing their participation and success in sport, and teaching them the value of life-long recreation. This, in turn, will prepare them for more successful and productive members of society.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
The Academy recently began a new project to play a role in the development of football (soccer) administrators in the United Arab Emirates through a Football Club Operators License scheme in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates Football Association (UAEFA).
The agreement between the Academy, its Emirati colleagues and the UAEFA has led to the development of the Football Association Academy for Sports Management (FAASM). 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 FAASM is a new initiative of the Football Association and the first classes for the Club Operators Licensing scheme commenced in February 2016.
Through this latest effort, the Academy will be providing the faculty and instruction for the Football Club Operators Licensing Program while Edraak, an Emirati Training and Consultancy firm based in Abu Dhabi, will serve as the facilitator coordinating the onsite implementation of the training program.
While in Bahrain, Rosandich met with Bahrain Olympic Committee secretary-general Abdulrahman Askar, who expressed his interest in strengthening the committee’s partnerships and cooperation with Academy at all levels. During the meeting in Manama, Askar expressed satisfaction with past partnerships with the Academy including projects to promote the experience and capabilities of Bahrain’s Sports Training and Development Centre to qualify sports officials in all areas.
People’s Republic of China
The Academy and the Shanghai Administration of Sports are continuing to work together on the International Diploma in Sports Coaching (IDSC) program. This past year saw some 50 students who have been working for various clubs and sport organizations in the Shanghai area admitted to the program that concluded in December. This program includes eight courses in core coaching skills and a mentorship for the “skills and drills” portion of the program. The courses were taught onsite in Shanghai by the Academy’s faculty while the practical portion of the program was organized by the Shanghai Administration of Sports, who paired the students with established coaches for their field training.
Rosandich also visited Beijing while in China and met with Shen Zhen, Senior Vice President for International
Cooperation and Exchanges of the Federation of University Sport of China (FUSC) and the China School Sports Federation (CSSF). The FUSC and CSSF, a Department in the Ministry of Education, is responsible for all of the scholastic sports programs in China. The Academy has worked with the FUSC on various programs and exchanges since 2006 and the meeting afforded Shen and Rosandich to discuss plans for upcoming events.
The Academy has worked with the International Sports Academy-Singapore (ISA) since 2003 and in 2015 the two organizations renewed their cooperative agreement for another five-year term. While visiting ISA leaders in the island nation,
Rosandich was able to look ahead to the future, with discussions focusing on potential expansion of the Academy’s diploma programs. Because the Singaporean educational authorities recently approved the use of distance education for educational programs, among the topics discussed is the role that ISA can play in recruiting students to study in the Academy’s degree programs delivered exclusively in an online format.
While not a stop on the recent international tour, 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.
Under the program, approximately 50 students annually are drawn from the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) and its affiliated sport organizations around the country to attend the certification courses. Following the conclusion of the classroom portion of the program, the SAT annually selects the best students from each program for a special study tour of sport in America. A delegation of approximately 12 students and administrators from the SAT tour various sports organizations and venues for two weeks from coast to coast in the United States.
The Academy and the SAT recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to extend cooperation in sports education and training through 2020.
Based in Daphne, Ala., the United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, regionally 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. For more information about the Academy, call (251) 626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.