2009 Program News

9/13/09: Introduction Ceremony Brings Together International Coaches and UDel Students

The 2009 ICECP officially began on Sunday with an introduction ceremony that allowed the international coaches to share about their home countries and learn about each other.

Freshmen students from the University of Delaware were also in attendance to learn about the international guests and help welcome them to campus. Each student spent time with one of the coaches and learned about his or her homeland, coaching career and goals for the program.

The program brought this unlikely group together, which included students from several Mid-Atlantic states and coaches from around the world, at the Newark Courtyard Marriott. It was an opportunity for the young students to meet new kinds of people, ones who lived differently and brought a new perspective, culture and history to the campus. All the students described the experience as “positive” and “enlightening.”

“I have always felt that the best way to learn about a different culture is to speak to someone from that other culture,” said Casey Langrehr, a student from Bel Air, MD. “The dinner for the ICECP…was very enlightening.”

Brian Malat, Langrehr’s classmate from Baltimore, agreed. “I felt it was very beneficial for me because it gave me a world perspective. And since I am a history major, it was perfect for me.”

During the ceremony, each coach introduced him- or herself and talked about their country. They shared the history, facts and culture of 27 different nations, and were all tied together by their mutual involvement and passion for sport.

The coaches hail from countries all over the globe. Some of these nations are more recognizable, such as Egypt, Greece and Peru, and some are less commonly known, such as Malta, Maldives, Sierra Leone and Kiribati.

“I think it was interesting to hear how proud the coaches were of their countries, but also how enthusiastic they were about being in the United States,” said freshman Melissa Sapio.

The introduction ceremony also included a presentation from Delaware professor Dr. David Barlow. Dr. Barlow spoke to the group about the history of the Olympic movement, the Olympic ideals and how ICECP sought to embody and promote those ideals.

The participants of ICECP have a busy schedule ahead of them. After a day of icebreakers and introductions on Sunday, the program dives into an intense curriculum of sports sciences, coaching education, training methodology and project development.The coaches will also spend two weeks at sport-specific apprenticeship sites, learning from the nation’s best in each of their sports.

ICECP gives these coaches the chance to gain new skills and knowledge, which can be applied to creating and improving sport structures in their home countries. It also gives some students a chance to learn about new cultures and broaden their horizons.

Freshman Mike Chrimes spoke with Tatenda Guta, a judo coach from Zimbabwe. He appreciated that opportunity.

“It was my first experience with someone from a different country. It was really cool to learn about the lifestyle in Africa and compare and contrast it with America.”