While on a recent trip abroad, United States Sports Academy President and CEO Dr. T.J. Rosandich was pleased to meet with His Majesty Hamad bin Essa Al-Khalifa, the King of Bahrain, to discuss the Academy’s longstanding relationship with the Kingdom.
Rosandich was also able to meet His Highness Prince Nasser bin Hamad, the President of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, along with the American Ambassador to the Kingdom, H.E. Justin Siberell.
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 the Bahrain General Organization for Youth and Sports to develop 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. For three years after, the Academy had full charge conduct of Bahrain’s national sports effort including sports medicine and human performance research laboratory. Since then, the Academy has conducted 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, among others.
Recently, the Academy’s program to train physical education teachers and coaches in the Kingdom of Bahrain to meet the needs of athletes with adaptive needs has culminated with 223 students completing the program.
Academy National Faculty member Marty Floyd traveled to the island nation in the Middle East three times since June 2018 to teach the post-secondary, non-degree certificate program in disabled and adaptive sport for the Bahrain Sports Federation for Disabilities (BSFD).
The Adaptive Sports program is a unique course of advanced study designed for coaches and physical education teachers who have or want to have experience working with athletes with varying degrees of adaptive needs. The program has a two-pronged approach that includes working with competitive athletes and developing inclusive programs for recreational athletes.
The program has already shown signs of success in Bahrain. Two students from one of Floyd’s groups have already begun working with Paralympic athletes through the BSFD, while two others are teaching Taekwondo skills to disabled athletes in Bahrain.
Since its founding nearly a half-century ago, the Academy has leveraged its role and resources as a special mission sports university to make a global impact through quality sport instruction, research and service programs in 67 countries around the world. These contributions have varied in scope from the full-charge conduct of a nation’s entire national sport effort to individual coaching clinics, seminars, and symposia. For more about the Academy’s international programs, go to https://ussa.edu/international/.