The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board have announced that Carrie LeCrom Ph.D., Executive Director of the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU, has received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to South Africa in Sport for Social Development. LeCrom will work with colleagues at Stellenbosch University’s Center for Human Performance Sciences to create, pilot, and evaluate a soccer coaching program for girls specifically in the U/20 age group.
“To say I’m honored to be the recipient of a Fulbright would be an understatement,” said LeCrom. “I’ve spent the last decade devoted to developing sport for development programs and instilling in our CSL students the many important ways sport can be used to promote social change. My time in South Africa will take this work even further, allowing me to spend a year devoted to a very special population of girls who have so much potential.”
LeCrom is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2018-2019 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields.
Over the last ten years, LeCrom has been awarded more than $2 million in grants from the U.S Department of State’s Sports Diplomacy Division to operate cultural exchanges and sport for development programs in Ethiopia, China, South Africa, Kazakhstan, India and Sri Lanka. LeCrom will spend most of 2019 in Stellenbosch, located in South Africa’s Western Cape Province, just east of Cape Town. LeCrom’s initiative will reach into the rural communities to a group of girls who are some of the most distressed, due to their isolated locations, high levels of gender violence, and lack of access to education and extracurricular programming.
“The young girls participating in our program will learn to become effective soccer coaches and to organize soccer events for girls from the local elementary schools, which in itself is a worthy project because the younger girls are also underserved. However, learning to coach and organize are merely vehicles through
which the girls will learn and practice important life and job skills, such as time management, goal-setting and communication under pressure when presenting to a group.”
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program is funded through an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations, and foundations around the world also provide direct and indirect support to the Program, which operates in over 160 countries worldwide.
Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given more than 380,000 students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Fulbrighters address critical global in all disciplines, while building relationships, knowledge, and leadership in support of the long-term interests of the United States. Fulbright alumni have achieved distinction in many fields, including 59 who have been awarded the Nobel Prize, 82 who have received Pulitzer Prizes, and 37 who have served as a head of state or government.