In Doha, VCU faculty provide sports management strategy training to Qatar Olympic Committee
By Brian McNeill, University Public Affairs
Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017
“Working with the Qatar Olympic Committee was a privilege,” said Carrie W. LeCrom, Ph.D., executive director of the Center for Sport Leadership, which is part of the School of Education. “We were honored to have been chosen for this project and look forward to continuing it moving forward. While we learned a lot about cultural differences, we also saw that sport is a universal language that should be available and accessible to all individuals.”
The delegation from VCU was brought in to present a workshop, “Strategies in Sports Management,” that focused on several sport-related topics including leadership, marketing, analytical research, social issues, sponsorship, media, finance and team dynamics.
“It was clear from our visit that Qatar is committed to utilizing sport as a major growth engine for their country, and they are well on their way to achieving this,” LeCrom said. “Our time with them allowed for us to exchange ideas and collaborate on strategies moving forward. They were a really great group of highly engaged individuals who are committed to their country's continued success.”
The goal of the workshop was to teach the strategic sport management process so that participants could apply the process to their tasks within the Qatar Olympic Committee. The participants ranged in experience and job duties, and included specialists in finance, auditing, research, sport heritage, human resources, event marketing and sport development.
“This was an amazing opportunity and honor for the Center for Sport Leadership,” said Brendan Dwyer, Ph.D., associate professor and director of research and distance learning for the Center for Sport Leadership. “One of our core values is global-mindedness, and our time with the Qatar Olympic Committee gave us the chance to live this value.”
While in Qatar, Center for Sport Leadership faculty had the opportunity to develop relationships with several other sport and education programs in Qatar, including the VCU School of the Arts in Qatar, Northwestern University, the Aspire Academy and Hamad Bin Khalifa University.
“Not only will our network of over 700 alumni benefit from our new relationships in Qatar, our current students will gain a unique insight into the strategy of elite level sport programming on an international stage,” Dwyer said.
The Center for Sport Leadership is aiming to return to Qatar several times in the upcoming year to build on the curriculum taught last month.