FYE students, international coaches come together
First Year Experience students joined international coaches on campus through the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program at a Blue Hens volleyball game.


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12:25 p.m., Oct. 12, 2010----First Year Experience (FYE) students at the University of Delaware had the chance to interact with coaches from 21 different countries as part of the opening reception for the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program (ICECP) Oct. 3 and shared a meal and attended the UD women's volleyball match on Oct. 8.

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The students, who are members of the FYE seminar titled “Promoting Global Citizenship, Cooperation and Understanding through Sport” each spent time at the reception with one of the coaches and learned about the coach's homeland, coaching career and their goals for participating in ICECP program.

On Oct. 8, the two groups gathered at Grotto Pizza on Main Street and then went as a group to cheer on the Blue Hens and saw UD volleyball head coach Bonnie Kenny earn her 500th career victory.

“It was an opportunity for the freshmen to be introduced to new cultures through the medium of sport,” said ICECP Director Matthew J. Robinson, who is also the professor for the FYE seminar. “The coaches thoroughly enjoyed the chance to meet the students and I think it was a great opportunity to engage the freshmen and to introduce them to the many cultures of the world, which is one of the goals of the FYE Program. It was a two great night of sharing, learning and respecting and appreciating of different cultures and customs.”

Carolina Bayon, director of international cooperation with the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) who was in attendance at the reception, said, “It was an incredible demonstration of what the Olympic Movement is all about -- using sport to bring diverse cultures together in a positive way. I was so impressed by the UD students and how they made the coaches feel comfortable while also asking questions to learn about the different countries. It was a great night for sport and education.”

Countries represented were Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Bahamas, Botswana, Brazil, Chinese Taipei Dominica, El Salvador, Fiji, Gambia, Indonesia, Iran, Latvia, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Serbia, Slovenia, Sri Lanka and South Africa.

UD freshman Kyle Zinn from Newark, Del., said, “I would recommend this experience for future students because most college students never see what life is like in other countries, they live their whole life in one state, maybe even one house. This experience gives a look into sports in other countries.”

Leann Garofolo said, “This experience definitely opened my eyes to the diversity of other countries and I hope we made the coaches feel welcome.”

Courtney Colegrove added, “This experience has opened my eyes to be more welcoming of other people and their cultures because even though we may be different we are also very much the same and this definitely wouldn't have happened to me if it had not been for FYE at UD.”

The FYE students were required to research the country of one coach and then met the coach at the opening reception. After the students had a one-one conversation with an individual coach, the coaches introduced themselves and talked about their country to the entire group. They shared the history, facts and culture of 21 different nations.

Friday night was pizza and volleyball and more sharing, with the coaches sharing with the students their experience of the first week at UD.

“Both the ICECP and FYE appreciate Coach Kenny allowing both programs to be recognized at the teams game. It was a great night of sharing and a great win for the Blue Hens,” said Robinson.

The mission of the International Coaching Enrichment Certificate Program is to provide national level coaches and those responsible for the development of the sport national coaching structures in developing countries with a practical program orientated towards developing proficiency in the technical, theoretical, conceptual, managerial and ethical aspects of coaching at all levels of competition.