CSL Daily

May 30, 2018

Dr. Carrie LeCrom Named Fulbright Scholar

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.


May 22, 2018

CSL ’18 – Growing the #CSLnetwork

We are proud to announce the jobs and internships earned by the Class of 2018, as of May 21. On our social media channels each day, we’ll highlight one graduate student and their new opportunity in the sport industry. Below is the complete list. We’ll add to it as other graduate students finalize their plans.

May 10, 2018

CSL Wins Sports Tourism Award

As one of our five core values, we take Collaboration seriously. One of our more recent but strongest partnerships is with Richmond Region Tourism. We have worked closely with their Sports Development team to create connections that benefit both our students and their mission.

Thursday morning, the CSL  received the Richmond Region Tourism 2018 MVP Sports Tourism Award during their annual National Tourism and Travel Week Awards Breakfast at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The award recognizes outstanding leadership in promoting local athletics as a tool to attract visitors to the Richmond Region. Executive Director Carrie LeCrom accepted the award on behalf of the CSL.

“We are honored to receive this award from Richmond Region Tourism. Our collaboration with them is an example of two organizations working unselfishly to bring value to the partnership and make each other better. We consider Danielle, JC, Jerrine and Matt a vital part of the CSL Network,” said LeCrom

CSL alum Jason Schilling was also named 2018 Rising Star for his work as Sports Tourism Coordinator in Henrico County.

May 9, 2018

#CSLnetwork in Europe: A Look Back

Each year, our graduate students have the option of enrolling in European Model of Sport, an elective which features a trip abroad to meet with sports organizations, learn from sports professionals and tour world class venues and arenas in Western Europe. This year’s trip includes stops in Dublin, Liverpool, London and Paris. Our students are blogging about their experience.

by Xavia Gary

This trip was shaped by a plethora of experiences and an extensive amount of knowledge gained from European sports, events and facilities. Everyone experienced something for the first time through the duration of the trip.

Our first European stop was Dublin, Ireland and we didn’t waste any time to consume the Irish history and culture. Minutes after landing, we explored the city of Ireland with a 2-hour bike tour. After the tour we attended a Rugby game at Aviva Stadium then concluded our day with a tour teaching us about the rich history and evolution of Guinness at their storehouse. Wrapping up the tour with a cold Guinness and fellowship on the 7th floor with a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city’s magnificent skyline was a great way to end the day. Additional highlights in Dublin included: touring Aviva Stadium, Croke Park and the Irish National Training center, learning/participating in both Hurling and Gaelic football. Global mindedness was in full-effect as the entire class and professors competed in a fun match of Gaelic football. After the game, we had free time in the city and most of us attended the Cavern, home of the Beetles, for music and a good time.

Next stop, Liverpool! We commuted from Dublin to Liverpool by a ferry and a bus for approximately 6 hours. When spent the next two days in Liverpool learning about the Liverpool Sailing Club, toured a few facilities and a received a lecture about the economic impact of sports in Liverpool. Our first tour was Anfield Road, home of Liverpool FC. Many of us became fans/supporters after making a connection with the club. The next day we attended the Liverpool FC Youth Academy where we were able to tour the facilities and see some of their youth athletes practice. It was mind blowing to hear that the recruitment process begins as early as 6–7 years old. With numerous fields, equipment and coaches, those kids are destined for greatness on the soccer field as a future player or coach.

We traveled to London by bus and train for our third destination. We were introduced to public transportation and the beauty of walking in this city. As we averaged around 9–10 miles of walking for both days in London. Not only did we have a guided walking tour for both days but we also toured major facilities in London such as the Wimbledon, Lord’s Cricket Grounds, Olympic Park and Olympic Stadium. We had very limited free time in London but we attended a professional soccer match together, where FC Paris defeated AS Nancy Lorraine in a close 2-1 match. The last goal was scored in the final 20 seconds of the game.

Our last and final stop before returning home was Paris, France! Our first day began with free time until 7pm. Many of us used this time to shop, take grad pictures, tour the city, and even play basketball at a local park. After free time in Paris we all attended the Coupe de France Handball Championship game! We actively cheered for Paris and they came out victorious! The next day we toured the Versailles Palace to gain knowledge about their history and to admire the beautiful artwork throughout the palace. At 7pm that evening, we filled the hotel lobby in business casual attire for our official dinner that included a three-course meal. For our last day in Paris, most of the class met at the Eiffel Tower’s lawn for fellowship and to toast to a successful school year.

This trip included many first time experiences such as, first time flying, first time in Europe, first time playing hurling or Gaelic football, first time attending specific facilities, first time attending a professional soccer/handball game, and first time seeing the Eiffel Tower. Overall, this was a surreal and unforgettable experience that we will cherish forever. As we embark on our future endeavors, we will always remember the time the 29 Grapes took over Europe.

May 9, 2018

#CSLnetwork in Europe: The Trip of a Lifetime

Each year, our graduate students have the option of enrolling in European Model of Sport, an elective which features a trip abroad to meet with sports organizations, learn from sports professionals and tour world class venues and arenas in Western Europe. This year’s trip includes stops in Dublin, Liverpool, London and Paris. Our students are blogging about their experience.

by Andy Lohman

As a sports fan, this trip to Europe has given me experiences I will never forget.

After learning about the history of the Gaelic games from our great Croke Park tour guide Rory, we had the opportunity to participate in Gaelic football at Ireland’s National Sport Campus on the outskirts of Dublin. Not only was this an opportunity to run around and have fun, it was an immersive experience in the games that are such an integral part of the Irish culture.

Our Anfield tour guide Gary showed us why Liverpool Football Club is a point of pride for the city. His passion for his club and its beautiful stadium almost turned this ardent Arsenal supporter into a Liverpool fan for a moment.

Touring the grounds of Wimbledon in London was incredible, as we got to walk through some of the greatest moments in tennis history, from John Isner’s three-day victory over Nicolas Mahut to Rodger Federer’s dominance of grass courts.

Witnessing Paris Saint-Germain claim the French national handball championship was one of the most surprisingly fun moments of the trip. We were treated to the atmosphere of an NBA game, with the supporters’ groups of a top-flight soccer league, and some of the best handball players in the world.

While the sporting experiences stand out, some of my favorite moments of the trip had nothing to do with sports. Listening to live music at the Cavern Club (the venue made famous by Liverpool’s own The Beatles) and relaxing on the lawn of the Eiffel Tower with my classmates who I’ve worked so hard with all year long was an amazingly rewarding way to end the year.

One thing that stood out to me throughout this trip was how each city’s sports culture reflected its personality. Dublin is a delightful juxtaposition of a city with historical landmarks at every street corner intertwined with a modern European metropolis with a booming tech industry. Irish sports span this spectrum too. From the Gaelic Athletic Association that administers traditional Irish games and holds its blue-collar, community focus in the utmost regard, to the sparkling AVIVA Stadium that houses the national soccer and rugby teams, Irish sports are a reflection of the Irish people.

The River Mersey has been vital to Liverpool’s place on the global stage in culture and commerce. The grassroots Liverpool Sailing Club keeps alive the love for water sport on this iconic English waterway. The “scousers” of Liverpool are nothing if not proud of where they’re from. The comprehensive fan culture of Liverpool Football Club showcases this pride. From poetic banners and songs, to fans packing “The Kop” stand, to the ubiquitous liver birds across the city, Liverpool Football Club runs through the veins of the city.

London is a world-class city with iconic landmarks, powerful world leaders, and millions upon millions of people creating a thriving metropolis. London’s sports reflect that excellence. As our lecturer Ben Swann noted, Wimbledon is one of the very few sporting events that is instantly recognizable. When you see tennis players in all white on grass, you think Wimbledon and you think excellence. Touring Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park highlighted why the London 2012 Games have one of the best legacies of a modern Olympics. Beyond just a shiny new home for West Ham United, the project turned an industrial wasteland into a beautiful place to live, work, shop, and participate in sport.

Finally, the sports of Paris reflected the cosmopolitan vibe of French capital. It’s only fitting that a city with the famous Champs Elysees, lined with luxury stores, is also the home to Paris Saint-Germain football club and Stade de France rugby club, two teams that aren’t afraid to flash their checkbooks to create stacked rosters and fill huge stadiums. In Paris, sports team’s competitors aren’t their counterparts in their respective leagues, they are every entertainment option in the city of lights. This means that sports in Paris is guaranteed to always be a show.

I might be in the minority on this, but my absolute favorite moment of the trip was watching the Paris FC game. A half-full stadium made of concrete, rowdy supporters’ groups that sing the entire game, delicious local food, an exciting game despite average on-field talent. It felt exactly like a D.C. United game at RFK Stadium, one of my favorite sporting experiences. That’s why sports are the best: they show that even though we live in different worlds, at the end of the day we have way more in common than we have differences.

May 8, 2018

#CSLnetwork in Europe – Day 10: American Football vs. Rugby in France

Each year, our graduate students have the option of enrolling in European Model of Sport, an elective which features a trip abroad to meet with sports organizations, learn from sports professionals and tour world class venues and arenas in Western Europe. This year’s trip includes stops in Dublin, Liverpool, London and Paris. Our students are blogging about their experience.

by Phil Reichhoff

Today we had our final lectures of the trip. The first featured  a topic most of us are generally familiar: American football. Mr. Pierre Trochet, a director for the French Federation for American Football, gave us insight into the current and future of American football in France.

The French Federation for American Football currently has 25,000 members and 450 associations. All football players in France are 100% ameuter and most work regular day jobs as well. Mr. Trochet compared and contrasted the revenue models of French sport and massive revenues generated by the NFL. This lecture gave me the most clear understanding of the differences between American professional sport and European sport leagues.

Mr. Trochet also examined the future opportunities that France has to get involved in American football. Games in London are selling out regularly and the French Federation believes they will host both a college and professional football game by 2020.

Our day began with Olivier Chalhoub who worked with the Stade Français, one of the most popular Rugby teams in France. We took the subway to meet him at Invalides, one of Paris’ historic hotels and landmarks.

Chalhoub explained the history of Rugby and his club the Stade Francais. Rugby is the 2rd most popular sport in France behind soccer. We learned that 400,000 people are playing Rugby in club. The Top 14 (French first division) have the fourteen best teams competing against each other during 11 months season. The league is exploring the possibility of broadcasting games in the United States through a partnership with ESPN. 

Our speaker shared some of the marketing strategies used by the Stade Francais to be unique and differentiate themselves from other clubs. The most interested fact was the now iconic pink jerseys they wear. In the past, they were playing in blue and red. Chalhoub it took time for players and fans to adjust to the pink uniforms but it is now a source of pride and respect.

Chalhoub also discussed sponsorship activation and the relation between the club and corporate supporters. His expertise gave us the opportunity to see the difference between our culture and allow us to understand more how other sports are working in Europe.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was free time for our group to enjoy Paris before leaving for home on Tuesday morning.