CSL Daily

December 30, 2017

ENVEST India: Day 1

Center for Sport Leadership Executive Director Carrie LeCrom, Ph.D. is currently in India for Phase 2 of ENVEST, a sport-for-development initiative funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs through their Sport Diplomacy Division. ENVEST consists of four separate cultural exchanges with countries in South and Central Asia: Kazakhstan, India, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Phase 2 programming in Indian is being led by our partner Goals for Girls. Carrie is sharing her experiences through this blog. 

I’m having a different experience on this trip, as I’m playing a support staff role. And while that’s a bit different for me, given that I tend to lead our sport for development projects, it’s allowed me to be more of an observer and truly enjoy taking in the moments like I haven’t before. Today was such a genuinely happy day. I was able to watch girls from the United States connect with their pen pals in India who they’d only ever met in writing. The connection was immediate and joyful, all of which is thanks to two amazing organizations who I will forever advocate for: Goals for Girls and Slum Soccer. Their histories are both unique and inspiring, but both come back to one thing: the power of the soccer ball. These images will show you how true that is.

I feel confident saying that the groups of girls have bonded and that our American delegation better understands the similarities and differences they share with their pen pals. We traveled last night to Delhi, where the Leadership Summit will begin tomorrow, so lots more to come!

For more stories and pictures, check out our ENVEST India Facebook page. 

December 26, 2017

ENVEST Phase Two Set to Launch in India

Phase Two of ENVEST (Empowering New Voices Through Education and Sport Training) is set to launch January 3, 2018 in New Delhi, India.  Funded through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and their Sport Diplomacy Division, the program will operate under the leadership of grant awardee Dr. Carrie LeCrom, Executive Director for the VCU Center for Sport Leadership and Goals for Girls, a sport-for-development, non-profit organization that was selected as the primary partner for this stage of the grant. 

“We are thrilled to be working with Goals for Girls, an organization I have admired for quite a while,” said LeCrom.  “Their programs have made an incredible amount of impact on young girls around the world and our goal is to continue that trend with Phase 2 of ENVEST in India.”

Starting next week in The Goals for Girls Leadership Summit will bring together 280 coaches and players from across India. The program will feature former U.S. Women’s National Team player Lori Lindsey, three additional professional female players and 19 teenage elite girl soccer players from Salt Lake City, Utah (below).
The Goals for Girls Leadership Summit serves as an incubation platform for both girls players and coaches, reinforcing skills that will help all of us be more impactful leaders in our organizations and communities. Goals for Girls participants go through both field and classroom based learning on leadership components of awareness, teamwork, communication and goal setting.

In June 2018, leadership summit participants from India will travel to the United States to complete the cultural exchange.

ENVEST is a set of four separate, two-way cultural exchanges with countries in South and Central: Kazakhstan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

The goals of ENVEST are:

  • Harness the power of sport as a teaching tool to increase mutual understanding
    between people of the United States and people of South and Central Asia
  • Provide opportunities for sport coaches, administrators, and youth to learn and
    develop in ways that will benefit their home communities
  • Engage multiple groups in creating action plans around clearly identified social issues
  • Create an ongoing dialogue and open lines of communication between all participants to promote the exchange of ideas before, during, and after completion of the program, which will support the program’s long-term sustainability and multiplier effect.



December 20, 2017

ECNL Recognizes LeCrom as S’Hero

Our friends at ECNL run the best girls youth soccer league in the country. They also do a great job of identifing strong role models for the next generation of female leaders in sport.

This month, CSL Executive Director Carrie LeCrom Ph.D. was named December S’hero, a monthly series that recognizes current female leaders in sport.

The CSL has strong connections to the ECNL: Commissioner Jen Woodie is the Commissioner and Communications Manager Blaze Byrd, who wrote the article, are both CSL alums.

We appreciate ECNL for recognizing Carrie and validating what we see every day.

December 19, 2017

Hat Tip Tuesday

On Tuesdays, we offer a “tip of the hat” to current students and alumni who have been hired, promoted, recognized for outstanding achievement or embarked on new opportunities.


Lisa Hauck (’12) has been hired as Youth Sports Director at the Treasure Valley Family YMCA in Boise, ID. Previously, Lisa worked as the Marketing Manager for the California State Games since 2012.


Matt Reid (’04) has been hired as Assistant Baseball Coach at Florida Gulf Coast University. Matt has more than a decade of collegiate baseball coaching experience, working at Army West Point, UNC-Asheville & ODU. Matt also managed the Peninsula Pilots of the Coastal Plain League and has scouted New England prospects for National Scouting Report.

December 12, 2017

Some Fun During Finals Week

It’s Final Week at VCU (and pretty much every campus across the country).  Our grad students are trying to finish up the semester on a high note.

Tuesday, we took a break from the studying and stress and held our Annual Holiday Potluck Party/Cookie Contest and Tacky Sweater Competition.

There was strong competition in both contests. Doc student Chad Goebert’s ensemble won the Tacky Sweater Contest while Courtney Zehnter won the cookie contest by making a pie that featured Oreo cookies. I think an official complaint will be filed and formal protest lodged.

The lunch is always fun and a great way for students, faculty and staff to connect before the final few days of the semester.

December 5, 2017

Shaka Smart Talks About His Return to VCU

Former VCU basketball coach Shaka Smart returns to the Siegel Center tonight for the first time since he left to take over at Texas. It will surely be an emotional night for Smart and Ram Nation as we remember the lasting impact he made on VCU.

Coach Smart was always a supporter and advocate for the Center for Sport Leadership. Five of our students work as graduate assistants with the men’s basketball program each year but Coach Smart was gracious with his time and insight when it came to our students.

On Monday, Coach Smart was a guest on Greg Burton’s radio show where he shared stories, memories and even some leadership talk.