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ENVEST India: Leadership Summit Focuses on Communication & Teamwork

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. 

The theme of Day 2 of the summit was Communication. We did this really impactful exercise that I think spoke powerfully to the girls on finding your voice. Each girl had to create a list of “I am” statements (ie: I am strong, I am compassionate, I am humble). They shared their lists with their groups, then chose their favorite statement to shout at the top of their lungs. As soon as they shouted it, we took a Polaroid picture of them for them to keep, where they wrote their “I am” statement. We talked to them about how important it is for them to find their own voice and be who they are, and the girls said the exercise felt happy and freeing. It was so cool to hear all these girls focus on positive self-talk! We played a lot of soccer and other games too, but this activity was so unique that I thought it important to share. Tomorrow is competition day!

Day 3 of the Leadership Summit focused on Teamwork! As you can imagine, we had lots of fun activities for the girls and they got to play full 11 v. 11 soccer games in their teams today. Many of the Indian girls attending the summit have never played full-field games, so it was fun seeing them cheering each other on for some friendly competition! We also talked about teamwork from a community perspective, discussing how important it is for us to feel connected to our community and the need to work to improve it.

I’ve been truly amazed over these last three days at how open and loving all these girls are toward one another. Strangers meeting a few days ago are now smiling, hugging, and joking with one another like best friends. It’s refreshing to see something as simple as a soccer ball unify people of different places, backgrounds, and stations in life. More to come on our LAST day in India!

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