2009 Program News

10/4/09: ICECP Coaches Having Some Fun in Philly

PhillyAfter a week of hard work at their apprenticeship sites, the ICECP coaches in Philadelphia took some time to enjoy the city.

On Saturday, the coaches attended a Philadelphia Phillies major league baseball game. The Phillies played the Florida Marlins and lost 4-3, but the coaches had a great time at the ballpark and enjoyed seeing the NL East champs in action.

Rasha Ghoneim, the Egyptian national rowing team coach, was excited for the trip because she had never seen a baseball game before. It was the first time any of the five attending coaches had been to a major league baseball game.

“I liked the American spirit of the game,” said Haili Ripley, the women’s national basketball team coach from American Samoa. “The intensity and passion the home fans had for their team and the game was noticeable. People take baseball seriously here.”

Misshame Anareme, a basketball coach from Togo, agreed wholeheartedly. “The noise and the crowd were amazing. That is the first time I’ve been in a crowd of 45,000 people,” he said. “It was crazy watching people try to get the foul balls.”

Rota Onorio, the national basketball team coach in Kiribati, thought back to some of the things he learned so far in ICECP while at the game.

“It reminded me of the presentation about event and facility management. I thought about everything that goes into putting on a game and the preparation needed. The management of the game was amazing, the facility was great and the atmosphere was exciting.”

Ripley agreed and said, “You see it on TV, but the experience of being there live is amazing. It was a good investment of time.”

On Sunday, Anareme, Ripley, Onorio and Ricardo Torres, the national fencing coordinator in Peru, took a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to visit the historic steps from the “Rocky” movies. The group posed with the Rocky statue, observed the architecture of the building and reenacted the famous scene from the movie.

“We’ve all seen it in the movies, and then seeing the actual place and reenacting the scene was great,” Onorio said. Anareme agreed and said that he just watched the movie and that it was exciting to be there in person.

“I’m glad I got to go. It is something I will tell my son about when I go home,” Ripley said.

The coaches have another busy week ahead of them. Ghoneim will continue working with the Penn AC Rowing Association, while Torres will return to the UPenn fencing program and the Fencing Academy of Philadelphia.

The basketball coaches are visiting coach Phil Martelli at St. Joseph’s, coach Jay Wright and standout guard Scottie Reynolds at Villanova and the Atlantic 10 champion Temple Owls. They will also attend a preseason Philadelphia 76ers game against the New Jersey Nets.

All the coaches are also continuing to work on their personal projects, as well as an apprenticeship site presentation, which they will give in Colorado Springs.