CSL Daily

October 31, 2018

ENVEST Fact Sheet

ENVEST Fact Sheet

  • ENVEST, which stands for Empowering New Voices through Education and Sport Training, is a series of sports diplomacy missions aimed at ways sport can create social change.
  • The grant funding this program is provided by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs (ECA) through their Sports Diplomacy Division.
  • The grant was awarded to the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU (CSL), a graduate program which teaches the business and impact of the sport industry. The CSL was recently ranked among the top 15 sports management programs in the world.
  • ENVEST will operate under the leadership of Dr. Carrie LeCrom, a recent Fulbright Scholar recipient who has been awarded more than $2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of State and has partnered with ECA to lead sport-for-development missions in Ethiopia, China and South Africa.
  • ENVEST consists of four separate cultural exchanges with countries in South and Central Asia. Those countries are Kazakhstan, India, Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan.
  • Exchange 4 will take place between delegations from Richmond, Virginia and Turkmenistan. The programming will center around adaptive sports and creating recreational opportunities for people with physical disabilities and visual impairments.
  • Exchange 4 international partner will be Turkmenistan’s recently created Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs. A delegation of 20 ambassadors, coaches and athletes from Turkmenistan will travel to the United States on November 1, 2018 through November 8, 2018.
  • A return trip to Turkmenistan by the U.S. delegation is scheduled for March 2019
  • Exchange 4 domestic partner will be Sportable, an adaptive sport organization based in Richmond, VA


The goals of ENVEST are:

1) 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;

2) Provide opportunities for sport coaches, administrators, and youth to learn and
develop in ways that will benefit their home communities;

3) Engage multiple groups in creating action plans around clearly identified social issues;

4) 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.


October 31, 2018

CSL to Host Turkmenistan Delegation for ENVEST

The Center for Sport Leadership at VCU, in partnership with the U.S Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, will host a delegation from Turkmenistan in November to exchange ideas and best practices for adaptive sport programming and opportunities. The CSL will work with Sportable, an award-winning, Richmond based adaptive sports organization to engage athletes, coaches and administrators from Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs during their trip to the United States.

“We are excited to welcome our partners from Turkmenistan to the United States,” said Carrie LeCrom, Executive Director of the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU.  “Adaptive sports are growing in our country and around the world. Through our partners at Sportable, we believe we can generate new ideas and opportunities to create additional recreational programming for adaptive sport athletes.”

The cultural exchange, which will take place from November 1-8 in Richmond, Virginia and Washington D.C., is Phase 4 of a broader sport-for-development program called ENVEST (Empowering New Voices through Education and Sport Training). ENVEST is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs through their Sports Diplomacy Division.  Three previous sport diplomacy missions have already been completed in Kazakhstan, India and Sri Lanka.

ENVEST will operate under the leadership of Carrie LeCrom, Ph.D. who has been awarded more than $2 million in grants from the U.S. Department of State, leading sport-for-development missions in Ethiopia, China and South Africa.

“We have been working on ENVEST for nearly two years. This final phase with our partners from Turkmenistan will complete the most ambitious sport-for-development initiative we have led,” said LeCrom. “The impact made in Kazakhstan, Indian, Sri Lanka and soon Turkmenistan is further validation that sport can create social change.”

October 31, 2018

Jeff Fitch Speaks to Sales & Development Class

By: Hannah Matheson, CSL graduate student

Richmond just hosted the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, a PGA Tour Champions event. Prior to its inaugural edition in 2016, Richmond had not hosted a major golf tournament since the 1980’s, guest speaker Jeff Fitch told CSL students.

“My job is to get companies to invest in the tournament,” said Fitch, sales manager for the Dominion Energy Charity Classic, which has seen incredible corporate support since its inception.

The Dominion Energy Charity Classic is a major event for the city of Richmond.  “It’s one of the best corporate networking events around because there are so many corporations involved.”

Fitch told CSL students about his three biggest selling points for the tournament: hospitality, the Pro-Am (a chance for amateur golfers to play with the tour players), and marketing.  “Hospitality is the number one thing we sell to clients.  It’s all about the client experience.”

There’s something for almost everyone to do at a golf tournament.  From a fan zone screening college and NFL football to a family and kids area with a playground, Fitch explained to students how they keep thinking of new and different aspects to enhance everyone’s experience.  “The Dominion Energy Charity Classic is about much more than golf.”

October 30, 2018

Hat Tip Tuesday

Each Tuesday, we offer a “Hat Tip” to highlight alumni who have earned new jobs, promotions  or awards.  Congratulations to this week’s alums Leighann Albaugh ’11 and Matt Green ’09.

October 30, 2018

Hunter Leemon ‘09 Speaks in Sport Business

By: Hannah Matheson, CSL graduate student

Hunter Leemon ‘09 truly has a passion for sports.  After working in real estate for over 15 years , he missed the teamwork and camaraderie that comes along with sport.  While finishing his degree with the CSL, he volunteered as the coach for Sportable’s Power Soccer team.  That’s when he fell in love with the organization and what ultimately led him to his current position as executive director of Sportable.

Leemon took the lead in Sport Business to speak to CSL students about capital structuring and funding.  “I think we are very lucky living in Richmond.  There’s a lot going on in real estate in the sport industry here.”

The number one thing that drives people to visit Richmond is sport, according to Leemon.  The city’s future may involve some big changes and additions that will further dictate Richmond as a hub for sport.

There’s been ongoing talk about a new Richmond Coliseum, a facility that has potential for positive social return.  “If we build this facility, it’s going to spur all this activity around it.”

With a new coliseum, Richmond could host high-profile sporting events such as the ACC and A10 tournaments.

October 29, 2018

CSL Faculty, Doc Students Honored at SMA Conference

Center for Sport Leadership took home two major honors from the Sports Marketing Association’s Annual Conference last week.

Brendan Dwyer, Ph.D. along with doctoral students Chad Goebert and Jennifer Gellock won Best Paper. It was entitled, “Measuring Sport Fan Attitudes through the Implicit Association Test”.

Gellock also won the MLS National Sales Center Ignite Session with her presentation: “Will You Students Remember What You Taught Them?