CSL Daily

March 28, 2018

ENVEST – Visiting Our Nation’s Capital

ENVEST (Empowering New Voices through Education and Sport Training) is a sport-for-development initiative funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs through their Sports Diplomacy DivisionThe goal is to increase cultural understanding using sport as the vehicle.

Our visitors spent their last full day stateside in Washington D.C.  The entire delegation in addition to Dr. LeCrom and Abby Bergakker from the Center for Sport Leadership met with our partners at the U.S Department of State.  The Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs and their Sports Diplomacy Division not only fund this exchange but provide invaluable resources and support to ensure its impact and success. Dr. LeCrom has worked with our contact Ryan Murphy on previous exchanges with South Africa, China and Ethiopia.

After the visit to the State Department, the group toured Washington D.C. visiting the landmarks and monuments that make the city famous.

The realization has set in that their time in the United States is about to end and they have expressed their gratitude for the experience.

March 27, 2018

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.

March 27, 2018

CSL Puts New Twist on SEED Event with The First Tee

The First Tee of Greater Richmond is about so much more than just golf. This organization uses golf to help develop youth and provide them with outlets for healthy habits as well as developmental skills and values. The First Tee teaches kids about honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgement; as well as healthy habits such as exercise and eating.

Through “Future Heroes Day at The First Tee”, a superhero themed day of play, all of these core values are represented using golf as the vehicle to teach the youth. “Future Heroes Day” is a day for children ages seven through thirteen from all over the Richmond area to come together, learn, and play. This event will be held at the newly renovated Richmond facility, 400 School Street, Richmond, VA, 23222.

On April 4th, 2018 from 9:00am-12:00pm, the Center for Sport Leadership will use golf to present a day full of superhero antics and scenarios and teach the children The First Tee core values in a fun and exciting way. Madison Medlin, Senior Director of Marketing and Events and Center for Sport Leadership alumna, said “I hope that the youth understand what The First Tee stands for and how impactful it can be in their life. We are more than golf – we teach core values and healthy habits in every aspect of our curriculum. If youth leave this event with a better grasp on what respect is, how important integrity is, or how beneficial sportsmanship is to sport participation, we have succeeded.”

Future Heroes Day will do just that. We plan to develop the minds of 60-80 children, teach them these core values, and allow them to learn from us, the organization, and their own peers. There will be nine stations, for the nine core values, with nine superheroes associated with them. The stations will include golf games, team building games, exercises, and multiple giant inflatables. The rest of the day will include an interactive information session about healthy habits, Zumba, and a healthy lunch from Apple Spice.

For any families who will be in the Richmond area on Wednesday, April 4th, 2018 from 9:00am-12:00pm, there is still room to join this amazing experience. Please email Kayla Watts at if you have any additional questions or want any additional information.

March 27, 2018

ENVEST: Final Session in Richmond

ENVEST (Empowering New Voices through Education and Sport Training) is a sport-for-development initiative funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs through their Sports Diplomacy DivisionThe goal is to increase cultural understanding using sport as the vehicle.

It was appropriate for the delegation’s final session in Richmond to be on the soccer pitch. Soccer is what brought them here. Soccer is what will keep them connected to their new friends here.

Richmond Strikers Director of Youth Development Erwan LeCrom, a CSL alum, led the session which began with a series of unique exercises aimed at training your brain to process directions quicker & more effciciently.  Using small bean bags as props, Coach LeCrom  barked commands, at first simple then more complex.  Coach LeCrom says these exercises promote and improve the mental side of athletic performance and can be used before or after a training session.

Next up was a round of “soccer tennis”. The players were split into pairs, given a ball and a net and then told they had to make up the rules, including how points would be awarded. The players quickly devised a plan and began playing this unique mashup of two popular sports.

The day finished with some 5v5 with the focus on passing and dribbling, not scoring. It’s clear our visitors feel most comfortable on the pitch. They embraced the new training methods and  new ways to enjoy the game they love.

Monday evening was their final night with their host families. Tuesday morning, the delegation left for Washington D.C. where they would visit the U.S. Department of State and tour our national monuments before departing for home on Wednesday.


March 26, 2018

ENVEST: Day 5- Social Action Projects

ENVEST (Empowering New Voices through Education and Sport Training) is a sport-for-development initiative funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs through their Sports Diplomacy DivisionThe goal is to increase cultural understanding using sport as the vehicle.

Since the initial ENVEST meeting in Kazakhstan seven months ago, the youth participants have been working on social action projects that use soccer as at platform for cultural change. The American youth delegation presented their projects before departing Kazakhstan. Today, the youth players from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan presented their social action plans in a unique setting: a 9th grade Russian language class at Maggie Walker Governor’s School.

Each group took about 10 minutes to explain the social issue they wanted to address and how their plan could benefit their community. The issues are diverse: from making club soccer more accessible, to reduce social media addiction among teens, to making healthy food more available to improve nutrition.

Most of the students spoke in Russian. The American students listened intently, some trying to translate on their own and others waiting for the the interpreter to relay the message. Our visitors discussed the differences between being a teenager in their country compared to America.

Following the presentations, the delegation offered a small gift to their peers: a pin bearing portions of the Kazakhstan and American flags in the shape of two hands shaking. A small group of school ambassadors answered questions from the delegation, mostly about what their day-to-day life is like.

It just so happens that one of Richmond’s most popular doughnut shops is across the street from the high school. Before the presentations, Dr. LeCrom brought two dozen of Sugar Shacks finest creations for our guests to enjoy.

The delegation returns to the soccer pitch this afternoon, which is their last full day in Richmond before heading to Washington D.C. on Tuesday.


March 26, 2018

CSL, Sportable Roll to Success in 1st Time SEED Event

by Andy Lohman

“We’re going to be back next year!” the head of the Sheltering Arms Rehab/VCU Health combined team proclaimed as she walked off the Stuart C. Siegel Center floor, the Third Place Team trophy under her arm.

 After weeks of hard work, this scene was a sign that the inaugural 3v3 Wheelchair Madness was a success.

For the previous five years, Sportable and VCU’s Center for Sport Leadership partnered to put on a Paralympic Experience day. It served as a way to showcase the many amazing ways in which Sportable’s adapted sports athletes compete, and an opportunity for CSL students to learn through their Sport and Entertainment Event Development (SEED) class. This year, that partnership evolved into its next stage.

The main goal of 3v3 Wheelchair Madness was to raise money for Sportable’s mission of creating opportunities and transforming lives. Although the final financial numbers have not come in yet, this goal was definitely reached. At the same time, the event’s original of showcasing the athleticism of Sportable’s athletes, was certainly still reached as well.

 Wheelchair basketball is difficult, and Friday’s participants found this out quickly; pretty much everybody’s first three shots were airballs. But as each team became more comfortable in their chairs, the level of play quickly escalated and games got competitive and fun.

 “Thank you to all the teams that came out and competed today,” Sportable Executive Director Hunter Leemon said during his closing remarks. “We’re glad everybody had a great time and we can’t wait to see you all next year!”

 “The first-ever 3v3 Wheelchair Madness was a success!” tournament director Gillian Abshire said. “The participants had a ton of fun in a competitive environment, the relationship between Sportable and its corporate partners was strengthened, and everything ran smoothly logistically. As a team we attained all of our goals for putting on this event; I’m really proud of everyone for their hard work.”

The event lived up to its name when the Richmond Flying Squirrels team nailed a three point, buzzer beater to win a preliminary game, bringing some real “madness” the the event.

Patient First walked away with the First Place Trophy after defeating Dominion Energy with a shooting display. The Flying Squirrels hit a buzzer-beater three-pointer to win their first game of the day. Dominion Energy had an entire cheering section, complete with signs and hard hats. Most importantly, the Siegel Center was filled with smiles the whole day.