College of Arts & Sciences Newsletter
Health, Exercise & Sport Sciences Personnel Train Over 200 Ugandan Soccer Coaches with State Department Grant
This past May, HESS Assistant Professor Dr. Jens Omli, TTU graduate student Lisa Berg and undergraduate student Michael Esch, and four additional instructors provided training for 200 Ugandan Soccer Coaches (114 men, 86 women) as part of the “International Sport Connection” program, which was funded by the SportsUnited Division of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
The mission of the International Sport Connection (ISC) is to help coaches transition from a narrow focus on talent development and strategy implementation to a more comprehensive vision of coaching which promotes personal growth, appreciation of others, and community development. Furthermore, ISC stakeholders seek to empower coaches with comprehensive, high quality training, to encourage a commitment to continuous learning, and to promote creativity in meeting the unique challenges that arise while coaching children and youth. The ISC was founded by Dr. Omli, along with Federation of the Uganda Football Associations Vice President, Coach Stone Kyambadde Ndibassa.
This was the second year of the program which has trained 382 coaches to date. It is the largest coach training ever conducted in East Africa, and the only training to include coaches with disabilities and a large number of women coaches. As a result of the ISC training, the number of certified female coaches in Uganda increased from 7 to 141.
Dr. Omli recently received funding from the SportsUnited Division of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to conduct a similar coach training and cultural exchange program with Ugandan basketball coaches. In May, 2012, Dr. Omli will travel to Uganda with a team of sport science experts and basketball coaches. Additionally, four of Uganda's top basketball coaches will visit Lubbock in February, 2012, as part of their U.S. Tour.