Topics: Athletics, College of Applied Sciences and Technology

February 18, 2013

A contingent of Ball State University faculty will travel to the Middle East in mid-March for the third and final phase of an international program to strengthen ties between the United States and Jordan.

The visit stems from a two-year grant Ball State received from the U.S. State Department’s International Sports Programming Initiative (ISPI) to support Soccer for Peace and Understanding in Jordan.

The final phase of the project will take place in Amman March 13-16 at the Jordan Football Association facilities, in partnership with Leaders of Tomorrow and the Princess Basma Youth Resource Center. Coaches from Zarqa, Ajloun, and Amman will attend.

About 100 Jordanian athletes from surrounding areas will join the American and Jordanian coaches for workshops on soccer tactics, fitness training, coaching psychology and developing citizenship, leadership, and conflict resolution skills.

The program aims to promote on-going relations between Jordanian and U.S. youth soccer coaches while offering techniques for teaching young athletes the skills of the sport and how to peacefully interact with people from different cultures.

"We have a solid team of professionals working on this project who are passionate and knowledgeable," said project director Lindsey Blom, associate professor of sport and exercise psychology and coordinator of the sport and exercise psychology graduate program at Ball State. "We are excited about the opportunity to develop relationships between soccer coaches and players in Indiana and Jordan."

A Ball State delegation first visited Jordon in early 2012 to conduct soccer clinics. The second phase occurred last May when 12 Jordanians traveled to Indiana (United States) for a two-week cultural exchange.