GSP representative, Thiago Baria, helped lead AEL Limasssol to a 6-2 victory Monday night in the final match of the Cypriot Futsal First Division regular season schedule. In just his second match as a professional futsal player, Baria was responsible for four of his team's six goals, assisting on three scores and netting one of his own. Baria played professional football in Brazil for several seasons prior to coming to Cyprus and has worked hard to transition his skills to the futsal pitch. GSP congratulates Thiago on his outstanding performance and looks forward to cheering him on in the first round of the playoffs Thursday evening! Vamos número cinco!
In partnership with the Oman Ministry of Sport Affairs, represented by Saada Al-Ismaili, the Director of Women's Activities, Global Sports Partners brought three American female coaching experts to Muscat to conduct a Physical Education training course and a youth girls' multi-sport camp. These two events took place over the course of one week in late October of 2017.
The GSP team arrived on Thursday, October 19th and conducted the Physical Education training course over the weekend at Al Amal Club. A total of eight female Omani PE teachers and coaches participated in the course, which was administered using our Train-the-Trainers approach. A classroom setting was used for the theoretical training sessions, while the practical, hands-on training took place in the club's indoor sports hall.
The lectures included an introduction to the sports of ultimate Frisbee and volleyball. These sports are not very well known in the area, so a natural goal and vision of the GSP team is to see these sports included in future curriculum for Omani PE teachers. Another goal of the training event was to strengthen the knowledge of existing sports within their programs, such as football and basketball. Finally, the PE teachers and coaches were trained to be assistants for the youth girls' multi-sports camp, and given their specific assignments and roles.
Each attendee was awarded a T-shirt and a certificate for their participation in the two-day training course.
The youth girls' multi-sport camp ran from October 21st until the 26th at the As Seeb International School. The GSP team along with the female PE trainees explained the rules and taught the basic instructions for four sports- basketball, football, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball. The girls were much more familiar with basketball and football, but were eager to learn about two new sports. Additionally, the best practices of nutrition and fitness were shared with the youth, who were greatly encouraged by our team to apply these principles for a healthy lifestyle.
Our coaching experts also provided fundamental skill exercises for each sport through exciting drills and games. Each of the six days were filled with high energy and fun, as the girls worked on understanding the rules and fundamentals of volleyball and ultimate Frisbee, and sharpened their basketball and football skills. Our coaches and assistants did a fantastic job of creating and maintaining a positive environment throughout camp the entire week. Everyone involved had a great time!
Finally, GSP recognizes that sport not only impacts physical ability and health, but is naturally transferable to real-life situations and provides a platform to impact people and communities. Therefore, teaching positive attitudes and ethical behaviors is a vital aspect of every project we conduct.
Both in the Train-the-Trainers Course and the Youth Girls’ Multi-Sport Camp, sessions were devoted to character and leadership development. Within the Train-the-Trainers course, these sessions were focused on the development of these values in the students and athletes that the PE teachers coach and teach. Teaching and developing these positive values were then modeled during the camp. The focused topics included teamwork, communication, sportsmanship, and responsibility.
GSP is very appreciative of the Oman Ministry of Sport Affairs, Ms. Saada Al-Ismaili, and everyone involved who made this week such an enjoyable and beneficial experience. The Physical Education trainees were overwhelmingly positive, indicating that they enjoyed and learned helpful information and values that will help them teach and coach students more effectively. Similarly, the youth girls communicated that they greatly enjoyed the multi-sport camp and they are looking forward to continuing to learn and regularly participate in sport.
GSP Lebanon and SportForward (a GSP Corporate Social Responsibility initiative) hosted a series of sports camps from 2-7 October 2017 in Beirut. The program was titled "Camp Hope," as our camps were built upon the main themes of hope and identity for local refugee children. There were three separate two-day camps that took place throughout the week, each with an attendance goal of 100 refugee children. The camps had a 3-hour activity schedule from 6:00 to 9:00 PM every evening.
We brought together a team of volunteers from several countries to facilitate the camps, including five from Egypt, five from Cyprus, four from the United States, and one from Hong Kong, as well as numerous local volunteers. Altogether, there were around 25 to 30 volunteers present at the camps every day. We were very excited and thankful to have so many people from all over the world share in our passion for this program and their willingness to help make the camps successful.
On the first day of each camp, the kids were received, divided into groups, and given a camp T-shirt. For the first hour, they worked together within their groups on games that focused on teamwork, critical thinking, and strategies. Some of these games were easy, while others were quite challenging and proved the importance of problem solving tactics and clear communication within the group. The goal for each group was to finish all of the games within the allotted hour.
The camp facilitators then gathered with each group to discuss the challenges and issues they faced within the exercise. This was a very important time during camp, as campers began to talk about what they learned from the opening session, how it applied to their life experiences, and the themes of camp.
The rest of the time was spent on sport teaching and training- basketball and football. Each group was either sent to the court or the field to practice and learn more about that particular sport. The campers were encouraged to continue to think about the team-building activities that took place earlier and how they may apply to the sport they were practicing. Campers performed drills and played mini-games the first day to teach and develop skills. At the end of this time, the facilitators once again had a team discussion time.
Day 2 followed the same model, with a focus more toward team competition. Each team got to put into practice what they had learned and talked about throughout camp, as they worked together in team drills and games. Campers even got to participate in extended scrimmages at the end of the second activity time. After this was done, all of camp gathered together for a small closing ceremony. During the ceremony, ten champions were individually recognized and awarded a trophy for their efforts during camp. Candy and prizes were given out to one outstanding camper from each group. Every child that participated in Camp Hope was given a camp-specific medal and a sticker. The children were thrilled to be recognized in this way during the ceremony.
Over the course of the week, there were a total of 339 campers. We were excited to meet and eclipse our attendance goal. We were even prouder of what was shared with us from our volunteers and facilitators in our debriefing session. The children were ecstatic to be a part of the camp and through all of our interactions with them, we could tell that they really connected to what matters most- their identity and the hope that they possess. GSP and SportForward are extremely grateful that we were able to use sports to connect with these children and this community through sport and Camp Hope.
This summer, Global Sports Partners partnered with the Bandirma Jets American Football Club to organize and implement an American football skills development camp, from June 30th to July 2nd. GSP Turkey representatives, Brad Mayes and Mark Rexroth, coordinated the camp and were in attendance throughout the three-day event. Seven American football experts from the United States joined them, as well as five local coaches, including Turkey’s American Football national team coach. Collectively, this 12-man staff facilitated the camp in its entirety.
Although the popularity of American football is rapidly growing throughout Turkey, it is still relatively new to the region. Because of this, GSP’s camp was strategically focused on building the general fundamentals of the sport, and included position-specific training as well as train-the-trainers sessions. The goal of the camp was to raise the skill and knowledge levels of the local players and coaches.
The camp was met with tremendous excitement, as over 170 local men participated, including 150 players. Though most of the participants were 18 to 30-year-old players, the age range spanned from 10 to 50, which allowed experts and coaches to teach all levels of the sport from those with coaching experience to the future generation of national team players.
This event was a fantastic experience for all involved, and had many encouraging outcomes. Among these were an increased support for club teams from local community officials, the development of the relationships between players and coaches, and an enjoyable bond between the American and Turkish coaches.
Camp assessments were overwhelmingly positive from participants and administrators alike. Attendees left excited about the future of American football in the area, and very thankful for the opportunity to partner with GSP and its experts. Specifically, the camp received highest praise from the Turkish national team coach, who described the event as “the best American football camp in Turkey in the last 17 years.”
The last few months have been quite involved for GSP’s basketball development work in Saudi Arabia. Coach Deb led her local team on an exhibition tour to Paris, competing in friendly games against a local French team. Coach Deb’s team played extremely well and were victorious in their matches.
Coach Bradley has continued his work with a U-12 team. They recently competed in a local tournament, which consisted of six teams. To our knowledge, this was the first time that a girls' basketball tournament has been organized in the city, demonstrating a progressive outlook for female sports. Coach Bradley’s U-12 team competed admirably, finishing in second place, losing only the championship game.
GSP is excited to have a part in basketball development in Saudi Arabia, and we look forward to future tournaments to both improve performance and increase participation in girls' basketball.
GSP Representative and licensed Argentine Football Association coach Gonzalo led a team to the final match, in a tournament which is organized annually by the Bangladesh community in Muscat.
The tournament is made up of two phases. The first phase includes four groups with three teams in each group, along with a second phase made up of the best eight teams from the group phase. These 8 teams competed in elimination play, with a quarter-final, semi-final, and final game.
According to Coach Gonzalo, his team made the final game due to their high level of play. Unfortunately, however, they were unable to come away victorious. During the second half, with the game tied at 0-0, the referee awarded the opposing team with a penalty kick. Upset with the call, Gonzalo’s team interrupted play to ask the tournament authorities to cancel the referee’s decision.
The authorities ruled to let the play to stand, and because of this, the players responded by leaving the game. Although Coach Gonzalo pleaded with his team not to do so, they stated that they “could not allow the opposing team to ‘steal’ the championship”.
Despite this unfortunate scenario, the Bangladesh team asked Gonzalo to be their coach again in the next tournament. He accepted on the condition that the team compete until the very end of every match. Gonzalo stated, “If the team does well, God will bring them justice, and they have accepted that.” Gonzalo will look to guide his team to another finals appearance in the next Bangladesh community tournament.
Onsight, a GSP initiative, is currently being developed in Nalchik, Russia. The main objective of Onsight is to create an activity center to be used and enjoyed by the local sport community.
The center will be equipped with a rock climbing gym and a coffee café. The center will also include training for bouldering, lead climbing, top roping, crack climbing, and trad climbing. The process of building this climbing wall has been going on for almost a year now, however, hopes and expectations are high that this new activity center will bring a whole new interest in climbing to the surrounding area. The Onsight team is currently in the final phase of painting the bouldering walls and project to be open to the public in the 3rd quarter of 2017.
In addition to the climbing facilities, Onsight will be actively involved in organizing running and other sporting events in the greater Nalchik area. Onsight organized one of these running events in November, which included 1K, 5K, and 10K races. GSP is very optimistic about what Onsight has to offer in spreading the vision of improving performance, increasing participation, and inspiring purpose to the city of Nalchik and beyond.
Steve DeVoss and Dennis Chamberlain recently traveled to Sudan to meet with the Sudan Olympic Committee. They were received warmly by the Olympic committee’s president, Mr. Hashim Haron Ahmed, and secretary general, Mr. Ahmed Abou Elgasim Hashim. Steve and Dennis are very grateful for the hospitality shown to them by the Sudan Olympic Committee and are excited for the partnership developing with the committee.
While they were there, the committee orchestrated opportunities for Steve and Dennis to meet with four sport Olympic federations. They met with the leadership of the wrestling, tennis, basketball and athletic federation. Steve and Dennis also attended youth and men’s basketball exhibition game and took a tour of the men’s tennis Olympic facilities. GSP is looking forward to providing the Sudan Olympic Committee with professional sport development services by supplying them with customized sport solutions.
Rafael Gomes, a GSP Rep, is completing a three-month assignment in Hawali, Kuwait as the lead football developmental coach. He is the head coach for all the boy participants in the Brazil Football Academy of Kuwait. The players are between the ages of five and nine and are split into three main groups. In coaching the participants, Gomes is not only striving to improve the athletes’ football abilities but also to equip the local coaches with the resources and tools that they need to continue to build up the program.
GSP Tunisia Reps, Jared and Abi, have introduced the game of Ultimate Frisbee to the young men and women of Tunisia. GSP’s work normally involves supplying sport federations with high quality services in the field of sport development and training. However, as an important part of our corporate mission GSP pursues opportunities to introduce new sports into local communities in order to encourage physical activity and increase participation in sport. The game of Ultimate Frisbee is a fun and interactive sport that allows individuals of all ages and skill levels to participate.
GSP Tunisia is developing a dedicated group of men and women who are learning how to play Ultimate as well as building a new sport community. Coming from different sport backgrounds that include football, wrestling, judo, track, and many who have no sport experience at all, the Ultimate players have united around a new banner with a vision to grow the sport and compete at a high level. Playing Ultimate in Tunis has created a unique environment that allows Tunisians of all performance levels and backgrounds to work together and reach new goals.
The Jeddah Ballers basketball team was led to victory by two GSP coaches in Saudi Arabia last month. For the past year and a half, the nine to eleven-year-old girls have trained with their coaches but were only been able to participate in one competitive game. However, that changed when the Jeddah Ballers competed in their second game and finished victorious.
Their coaches were not only proud of the girls for their win, but also for the way that the Jeddah Ballers treated the other players during and after the game. Mark, one of the proud coaches, spoke about how the girls played terrific “but more than that, they were encouraging and gracious to their opponents after the game was over.” The team is now looking for more competitive matches in order to improve their basketball skills as well as develop positive character traits through the game.
GSP Reps Dave and Katie Johnson, Certified Athletic Trainers, presented at the International Association of Athletics Administrators and Coaches (IAAAC) 2016 conference held in Bangkok, Thailand. This was Dave's 5th IAAAC conference as a presenter and lecturer and Katie's first. Dave and Katie led three workshops on correct procedures and techniques for taping. They also presented lectures on sports nutrition and basic sports medicine concepts.
The IAAAC conference is held annually and offers approximately 50 sessions in theory and practical application for coaches and athletic administrators of international schools. The number of participants is capped at 110 and it has quickly sold out each of the past 2 years. The participants are generally from Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, with a few from Northern Africa as well.
“Making Peace on Earth a Reality this Summer”
As a member of the Supporters Group of the Olympic Truce Campaign and as an essential part of GSP’s global involvement, Global Sports Partners President, Steve DeVoss, promoted the Brazil 2016 Olympic Truce Campaign during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.
Building on the momentum created by the Supporters Group’s meeting at the London 2012 Olympics and the affirmation of all 193 United Nations member states signing the Olympic Truce in 2011, Mr. DeVoss eagerly moved forward in advocating the idea of a period of peace during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
DeVoss met with Olympic delegations from numerous countries where GSP is active, soliciting their support for promoting the Olympic Truce
The goal of the Olympic Truce Campaign is to build a global network of peace ambassadors from the most vulnerable areas and cities in the world in order to promote the idea behind the Olympic Truce as a time of peace during the biggest worldwide sporting event. While one of the major action steps and measures of the movement, i.e. a One Minute Silence at the Olympic Opening Ceremony, could not be accomplished during this year’s Olympics, the Wall of Peace was erected in the Athletes Village. Many famous sportsmen and women put their signature on the wall to express their mutual support of the Olympic Truce.
DeVoss and Global Sports Partners welcome all-comers to the cause.
Sport is a universal language, bringing people together across cultures and continents. GSP recently participated in a series of basketball friendly matches in southern Spain. A team of athletes from the United States competed against Spanish club teams from Córdoba and Málaga (Alhaurín de la Torre).
The players competed on the court, shared life experiences and encouraged one another to press forward in making a difference through sport and business. The athletes from the United States enjoyed touring the city of Córdoba and the port of Málaga. Friendships were formed as the teams shared a post-match meal together.
This positive experience allowed the Spanish teams to test their level of play while competing against an opponent with a different style of play. Another example of how GSP's projects help clients improve performance and inspire purpose!
Level II-B Coaches Training
The ongoing Saudi Youth Sports Initiative (SYSI) program continued during the last week of January in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Ten coaches were enrolled in this Level II-B Coaches Training, held at the Fisal Zahid Sports Park.
Each of the participants previously attended Levels I and II-A of the coaches training taught by GSP experts from the United States. Only those who has successfully completed the earlier courses were allowed to attend. Each coach was given a notebook on the first day and each day thereafter was given the pages of study, training and exercises for that day's training. Time was spent both in the classroom for preparation and explanations, as well as on the field in practicum. The final two days were evaluation days where the GSP experts, Coach Craig Lange and Coach Doug Williams, observed and examined each individual coach's practice plan and how it was carried out on the field with players.
In the end, eight of the coaches successfully completed the course and were awarded their certificates. Over the next year they will be implementing their training with the respective teams that they each coach. Periodic visits by GSP staff and FZ Park directors will be carried out to provide on-going evaluation. At the end of the year, successful coaches will be provided an opportunity to advance to a higher level of certification.
Bravo to our experts on a job well done and to the coaches who attended each and every session.
In March 2015, Global Sports Partners collaborated with the US State Department to bring Ruth Riley, former WNBA star, and Becky Bonner, NBA Assistant Coordinator for International Basketball Relations, to Saudi Arabia to interact with women and girls engaged in the local sport, health and fitness lifestyle. Over the course of a busy week, Ruth and Becky traveled from Riyadh and the Eastern Province to Jeddah on the Red Sea coastline.
GSP was instrumental in coordinating basketball training opportunities for Ruth and Becky with local sports entities in the Kingdom. The girls and women who participated in the events were greatly encouraged and excited to have this unique opportunity to learn from women excelling at the highest levels of sport in America.
GSP was pleased to see the positive impact of this collaboration on all sides. Great appreciation goes to Ruth and Becky for taking the time and energy to share their skills and experiences with many women and girls in Saudi Arabia. It was a worthwhile venture that merits the exploration of further events of this caliber.
GSP experts lead weekly youth football and basketball training in Saudi Arabia.
Three American sport experts recently conducted a 2-day training workshop in Doha, Qatar, sponsored by the U.S. Embassy and hosted by Al-Rayyan Sports Club. More than 30 local coaches participated in classroom and on court/field instruction in the disciplines of Physical Education, Football, and Basketball.
Many thanks to Al-Rayyan for hosting this event, and to all the participants for bring energy and enthusiasm to the workshop. For more information, please also see this article in the Gulf Times.
For 6 days in late July and early August, Global Sports Partners hosted the Bulova China Soccer Camp on the campus of the Beijing Institute of Technology. More than 100 camp participants, ages 8-14, enjoyed high level soccer instruction and fun games meant to teach the value of sports in an individual's life. Parents of all participants were invited to attend the camp's closing ceremony, and over 100 parents came to see their child honored at the end of camp.
In addition to other ongoing ventures in North Africa, Global Sports Partners has placed an under-16 boys club basketball coach in Algeria. The team was formed in the fall of 2012 and recently completed its second year of competition together. In the past two years, all players have shown tremendous improvement in both basic basketball technique as well as team strategies: spacing on the court, movement without the ball, and the fundamentals of man-to-man defense. As the players have progressed, they have increasingly played "team basketball" rather than simply focusing on their individual skills.