Academy Vice President Dr. T.J. Rosandich (left) recently met with Rene Ndemezo Obiang, Gabon’s Minister of Youth, Sports, and Leisure, during a trip to the Central African nation to discuss sport development.

The Academy signed an agreement with Ali Ben Bongo Ondimba, the President of Gabon, in March of 2010, to bring its sport education programs to the nation. Under the agreement, the Academy will send a team of experts to Gabon to assess the current state of facilities, equipment, programs, and staff qualifications, as well as other associated aspects of Gabon’s sport program. Minister Obiang is scheduled to visit the Academy’s campus during the third week of September to discuss the upcoming assessment.

The nation of over 1.5 million citizens has participated in the Olympics since 1972 with its largest delegation participating in the 1996 Atlanta Games. Gabon made a splash in the sports world this past January in the Africa Cup soccer tournament with a 1-0 upset over four-time champion Cameroon.

For nearly four decades, the Academy has provided sport education programs to more than 60 countries throughout the world. From the beginning, the Academy’s general mission has been to serve the world as a sport education resource, upgrading sport through programs of instruction, research, and service.

While in Gabon, Dr. T.J. Rosandich also donated 25 complete youth soccer uniforms, as well as several soccer balls and soccer ball pumps, to the Federation Gabonaise de Football (FGF). Mr. Herve Patrick Opiangah (right), a senior official with FGF, accepted the donation on behalf of the organization.

The items given to FGF were donated by Ms. Jill Menzel, the founding President of SCORE American Soccer Company, Inc. Based in California, SCORE has been a part of the soccer world for more than 35 years and is one of the leading sports uniform manufacturers in the United States.

SCORE believes in the importance of creating opportunities for everyone to play the game they love, and continues to exhibit its strong dedication by generously donating needed soccer equipment to various organizations and teams throughout the world.

Most recently, SCORE donated more than $25,000 worth of team uniforms (shirts, shorts, and socks) to Haiti in conjunction with Airline Ambassadors, a non-profit organization. The equipment was specifically given to L’Athletique d’Haita, an organization that manages several soccer fields just outside of the tent city Soleil in Port au Prince (widely known through the efforts of actor Sean Penn). In addition to the uniforms, SCORE also donated more than 250 soccer balls, as well as goal posts and nets for L’Athletique d’Haita’s fields.