Friday, September 19, 2008

U of Delaware Hosts 28 World Coaches - Heavy Medal - Washington Post reporters blog live from venues at the Beijing Olympics

U of Delaware Hosts 28 World Coaches - Heavy Medal - Washington Post reporters blog live from venues at the Beijing Olympics U of Delaware Hosts 28 World Coaches

In its latest attempt to reach out to the international sports community, the U.S. Olympic Committee has invited 28 coaches in 15 Olympic sports from Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania and the Americas to take part in a coaching seminar at the University of Delaware that begins Monday.

With Chicago bidding for the 2016 Games on the heels of New York's fourth-place finish in its quest for the 2012 Summer Games, the USOC is keenly aware of its need to reach out to developing nations in the international sports community.

Called the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program (ICECP), the program is a joint project among the USOC, the IOC's Olympic Solidarity and the University of Delaware.

Among the invitee: Ivo Lakucs, coach of the gold medal-winning BMX team from Latvia and Atanas Nikolovski, a whitewater kayak athlete who carried the flag bearer for The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia during the Opening Ceremony in Beijing.

The first phase of the program includes guest lecturers, seminars and field trips. The second module will team the coaches up in an apprenticeship with either their respective U.S. national or collegiate team, with the University of Delaware, Penn State University, Northern Michigan University and Texas Wesleyan University among the participants. The coaches also will travel to the Philadelphia Eagles training facility and the Philadelphia sports complex.

They will also fly to Colorado Springs, Colo., for lectures conducted by the USOC's Sport Performance Division at the U.S. Olympic Training Center Oct. 12-29. The final phase of the program will take place at the Maison du Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland, April 18-22, 2009.

"As a part of our commitment to international partnership and outreach, the U.S. Olympic Committee is excited to partner with Olympic Solidarity and the University of Delaware to offer coaches from around the globe a world class coaching education program," Jim Scherr, Chief Executive Officer of the USOC, said in a release. "The International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program will provide national level coaches the possibility to keep abreast of the latest coaching principles from national level University professionals from the University of Delaware, and from USOC coaching and performance experts."

The IOC's Olympic Solidarity program is designed to get assistance to national Olympic committees around the world that most need it. The recent Summer Games in Beijing featured 586 athletes from 150 countries who benefitted from Olympic Solidarity.

The 28 coaches will be housed on the University of Delaware campus and at the U.S. Olympic Training Center. They were were nominated by their respective national Olympic Committees and selected by Olympic Solidarity and the USOC to receive scholarships to participate in the program.

Following is a list of the participating countries: Bangladesh, Barbados, Botswana, Burundi, China, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Georgia, Greece, Guam, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Latvia, Lesotho, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands Antilles, Oman, Republic of Korea, Romania, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Virgin Islands, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Matthew J. Robinson, UD associate professor of sport management, is director of the program. Robinson has created international sport initiatives in Turkey, Senegal, Ireland, Cape Verde and India.

By Amy Shipley | September 19, 2008
Where is Pitt and Duquesne in this effort? What about UPMC?

Furthermore, this is wonderful for the rest of the world. What about for our kids in the city?

I want to see programs like this where we bring in experts -- who are not thugs. They think the ones who have graduated from jails are key motivators to our youth. Rather, I want to see international and regional talent. I want to develop leadership.

They took a couple of parking spaces and made them into a 'park' next to city hall today. I went. There was talk about being 'competitive' from Patrick Dowd. But, there was not a hint of coaching. Without programming -- you've got fake grass. That's it.

Parks are places to teach -- not just park in a lawn chair to witness fireworks.

Parks are places to interact with kids -- not just for the removal of vandals and their tags.

Well done Delaware.

I'd love to hear an interview on Wednesday with the professors at Duquesne Univ. who are doing the sport-business show on Pgh R.R. Radio -- and Ron Morris. These are the issues we as a region should tackle.

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