KSU Faculty Engage in Sport Dialogue with the Sport Leaders Institute of Zimbabwe
SLIZ is an organization created to support the advancement of Zimbabwe’s sport industry through sport leader development programs, sports camps, and other educational activities. Due to the success with events and classes at home, SLIZ is currently seeking to expand their offerings to online markets to increase opportunities for micro credentialing through a technology called digital badging. By partnering with universities that have global capacities, such as Kent State University, SLIZ hopes to improve attitudes and skill levels of the sports professionals in Zimbabwe and to provide the educational opportunities to train and support their sport leaders.
During their visit, Drs. Glickman, Wagner, and Caine-Bish instructed coaches, students, and other sport professionals in subjects such as exercise physiology, health education, and nutrition. The Kent State faculty’s main goals in teaching at SLIZ was to dispel myths that exist in sport for each of their related fields. In recounting the excitement to engage in sport dialogue, Dr. Caine-Bish notes: “There was a connection early on. [The students] were ready to go and constantly wanted more information.” They soon discovered upon immersion into Zimbabwe’s culture that this enthusiasm was not limited to just learning, but extended to the general temperaments and attitudes of the local people. As Dr. Wagner describes, “Zimbabwe was beautiful. The people were amazing and very positive given the amount of hardship they encounter daily.” Overall, Dr. Caine-Bish thought “It was a positive experience for both parties. There is a lot more to learn about how to balance our needs with theirs.”
The three Kent State faculty have already been invited back to collaborate further with the institution. “It was heartbreaking to leave. We learned from them and we learned with them. It was a life changing experience for all of us," says Dr. Glickman referencing the recent visit. Going forward, they hope to create a system of exchange for students from Kent State University to go to Zimbabwe to teach, and vice-versa. As Dr. Caine-Bish says, “It would be an amazing educational opportunity to have students teach there and to bring students here to go to school”. In addition, Dr. Glickman suggests that “It is really important to globalize Kent State and, [...] it would be a wonderful pedagogical experience to bring our students there, and to have the Zimbabwean students attend KSU. We are currently working towards this goal.” All three faculty look forward to continuing their relationship with SLIZ and involving Kent State students in the future.