June 2014 brought the conclusion of Phase II of the Saudi Youth Sports Initiative (SYSI) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
SYSI Phase II continued the "train the trainers" curriculum begun last year, instructing new basketball and football coaches and conducting boys camps in both sports. Three weeks of instruction and training took place between 7-26 June 2014, with all sessions held at beautiful Faisal Zahid's Sports Park.
The GSP Representative coordinating this project had the following report about the experience:
"As our coaches arrived, the jet engine blast of desert air gave them a warm welcome! For the next 20 days they returned that welcome with amazing coaching and training to 120 boys in football and basketball camps. The camps were conducted in partnership with Jeddah United Sports Club, who contributed to many different aspects of the preparation. The camp theme “Respect the Game” was printed on each of the participant’s shirts.
The first week of camp was “train the trainers,” with American experts teaching local coaches; about 20 coaches participated in the basketball training, with a simultaneous group participating in the football training. During the second week, the American experts led youth camps with the assistance of the local coaches (three different local coaches worked alongside the Americans each day). During the third week, local coaches worked in groups of three to conduct one day of training sessions, with the American experts observing and offering advice.
Both American experts, who were visiting the Arabian Peninsula for the first time, commented on the participants’ noticeable skill improvement throughout camp. In our area, many youth have never before dribbled, passed, or shot a basketball, and by the end of two weeks they were playing a game! At the conclusion of camp, each participant was awarded a certificate of participation and a medal for outstanding effort. All local coaches received certificates of completion for their three weeks of hands-on training and coaching. Special awards went to coaches in each sport for Most Improved, Best Attitude, and Most Outstanding Coach.
The training was enjoyed so much by local coaches they asked if we could do this type of training at least twice per year. There are many football players and coaches in the Arabian Peninsula, but a lack of qualified coaches’ trainings is a real issue. The Saudi Youth Sports Initiative is addressing this issue and contributing to the quality and quantity of local coaches in both basketball and football."
GSP is thrilled to continue to work with local partners in Saudi Arabia to provide future training and mentoring events, equipping coaches with the tools they need to impact the local sports culture in positive, lasting ways. Congratulations to the local venues, our partner Jeddah United Sports Club, and all participants for helping SYSI Phase II be a huge success!
Saudi Coaches mentored: 40+
Saudi Youth impacted: 120+