The United States Sports Academy is continuing its program to train physical education teachers and coaches in the Kingdom of Bahrain to meet the needs of athletes with adaptive needs.
The Academy’s initial post-secondary, non-degree certificate program in disabled and adaptive sport in Bahrain graduated 223 students in the spring of 2019. Academy instructor Marty Floyd recently returned to the island nation in the Middle East to teach the program again this year 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 previous groups have already begun working with Paralympic athletes through the BSFD, while two others are teaching Taekwondo skills to disabled athletes in Bahrain.
The return of the program comes on the heels of a recent trip by Academy President and CEO Dr. T.J. Rosandich to the Kingdom, which was highlighted by Rosandich’s meeting with His Majesty Hamad bin Essa Al-Khalifa, the King of Bahrain. Rosandich was also able to meet His Highness Prince Nasser bin Hamad, the Preisdent of the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports, along with 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.
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/.