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ENVEST (Day #2) – The Summit Begins

Astana, Kazakhstan – The party grew on Thursday, as the Tajikistan delegation arrived late Wednesday night, and we met our hosts from the Football Federation of Kazakhstan. In total, there were 65 youth players and coaches from four countries in attendance.

Thursday also marked the beginning of our five-day leadership summit. The theme for day one was Openness to Others/Relationship Building. We were first greeted by the US Embassy in Kazakstan’s Deputy Chief of Mission, John Mark Pommersheim (First image).

We then got right into the programming for the day beginning with a few energizers and ice-breakers. We played bingo, Kooshball, the electric current game, and much more.

Dr. LeCrom also introduced the programming, briefly discussed leadership, and explored the role of soccer as a vehicle for change.

The group also had homework. Surveys were collected on a number of topics from social self-efficacy to optimism. Participants also took a personality to test to learn more about how they interact with others in group settings.

 It was then time for soccer. In the afternoon, we spent the next 2.5 hours on the field communicating through soccer. Will Bates and Todd Johnson helped us through a number of activities including Paper, Rock, Scissors, handball, and elements of passing and receiving.

Following the on-field content, we headed back inside for a discussion on their social action projects. On the last day of the summit (Monday), each delegation will present a project that will solve a problem or fill a need in their community. Today’s discussion began with a session on how-to brainstorm. We then did a follow-up activity on brainstorming social issues in their communities and seeking potential solutions. The problems and potential solutions identified thus far have been critical and eye-opening.

Tomorrow’s theme is Empowerment, and we are back at it 9 am Astana time (that is 11 pm on the east coast). Below is a video recap by Will Bates and a few more images from the day’s activities.

US group introducing their social action plan

Electric charge game

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