Day 1 - Amazing lecture by Rob Abernathy - Executive Director for Rugby World Cup 2019.
History of Rugby World Cup, Why Japan?, Discussion on expected revenue and expenditures, Growth of Rugby throughout the world, Review of host Stadiums and Tournament Brackets
First Day - First Lecture - First Group Photo
Right outside the Rugby World Cup Headquarters is the construction of the 2020 Olympic Stadium
It was amazing to see the construction of the stadium and imagine the crowds that will be surrounding this structure in less than two years
We had the opportunity to attend a Sumo practice at Nihon University and have Q&A with the head coach and senior members. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience.
Our final lecture of the Day 1 was at the International Sumo Federation Headquarters. As you can see this lecture was a bit hands on. Andrew Sims held his own against a former Sumo Champion!
Dr. Minami (Secretary General of the ISF) and Mr. Yasui provided some great information and interaction with the Global Sport Leadership students.
Former Chamion, future global sport leader and Dutch Stroup Waffles
The student quickly learned to navigate the metro system in Asakusa. The trains were on time and did not wait for anyone. During peak times just getting on and off the metro was an adventure.
Day 2 - University of Tsukuba hosted us for the day.
Former Two-time Olympian Dr. Tanigawa greeted us as we entered the lecture venue.
This would be a long day of lectures and workshops for the students. We were greeted by Dr. Sanada and given a historical overview of the University, its mission and future goals.
The calligraphy workshop with world renown Dr. Nakamura was a trip favorite. While we only learned one Kanji (Kokoro = heart), the difficulty in creating these art forms was felt by everyone.
Andrea Kralikl lead a workshop on the traditional Japanese marital art of archery called Kyudo.
After an introduction of the Kyudo, history of the sport, description of equipment and description of competition each student had the opportunity to give Kyudo a try.
Those targets may look close, but they were far enough for some. Each student was able to participate and experience the difficulty of shooting an arrow with a bow taller than they were!
Our instructor was always right beside us giving positive feedback and giving us the opportunity to be successful (and hit the target).
After two rounds of arrows our time was up in the Kyudo dojo, but each student was able to leave with a new experience and knowledge of a sport new to everyone.
After lunch Dr. Enomoto presented on sport science investigations within the University of Tsukuba. Specifically on the biomechanics of marathon running.
The final lecture of the day was from Dr. Geisler Guido Walter. His presentation on the mental game of sport kept everyone's attention and led to lengthy Q and A from the students. I honestly think we could have stayed another hour discussing the information presented.
Day 3 began with a city bicycle tour.
Bike tours are an amazing way to see cities and a staple of our field experiences in the Global Sport Leadership Program
Meg Feyen led the students in a traditional Sumo warm up exercise. The students are always up for experiencing something new and this willingness to participate makes everyone's experience that much better
We were able to see the moves learned at this park when we arrived at the Grand Sumo Tournament
The Grand Sumo Tournament was a highlight of the trip. Having heard the lecture on Day 1 about the Sumo Federation, it was great to try to apply the information gained to an actual match.
As you can see, the attendance was very high.
Definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity
After the Grand Sumo Tournament our last stop was a baseball game at the Tokyo Dome
Huge crowd that was similar to a European Soccer "fee" due to the constant chanting and cheering throughout the game. Amazing experience.
Day 4 began with a trip to the Japan Institute of Sport Science
We had some great lectures and tours within the facility, but no photography was allowed. Dr. Yamashita was a wonderful host and provided a glimpse into the training within the JIIS
Our last official lecture in Japan was with Mr. Mori of the Tokyo 2020 Olymipics. His discussion of the concerns, plans and bidding process for the games was extremely detailed. Q & A for this lecture could have gone on for hours, but Mr. Mori and his staff answered everything they could during the time allotted. This was a great way to end our adventure in Japan.
Day 5 was a transfer day from Tokyo to Taipei Taiwan. The flight between the two islands was 3 hours 30 minutes and the by the time everyone made it through security, passport/customs and to the hotel, the day was pretty much over. We would start bright and early in the morning with a bike tour of Taipei.
Day 6 As previously mentioned, there really is not a better way to see a city than a bike tour. We knew it was hot, but had no idea how hot it actually was. A new record for heat was recorded for Taiwan in the month of May during our ride - but we all made it.
Our first stop was to a fish/meat market
Our guides were very informative and gave detailed description of the areas visited
We stopped at multiple temple and were given the history of each along with some "local flavor" related to each site
This waterfall looks completely out of place within the city, but creates a relaxing refuge from the hustle and heat of the city
Government buildings were well concealed but we were able to view them from afar
This Performing Arts Center was stunning both inside and out
As we approach the chaining of the guard we must walk up 89 stairs to represent the 89 years of life for the previous emperor. Straight ahead if you have really good eye site you can see the China mainland.
The chaining of the guard is impossible to describe in words.
The precision, pageantry and attention to detail is amazing throughout this exchange
Day 7 brought us to Kaohsiung and the National Stadium. This stadium uses solar energy and has a unique shape to represent a fusion of beauty and power
After a tour of the World Games Stadium we were presented with a lecture related to the history of the building, energy use, bidding process (50 - 55 events/year) and economic impact to the surrounding area
Following the lecture, we were allowed to go out on the track surface and field
Taking advantage of opportunities is a major theme of our field experiences. How many times can you have the opportunity to run down the straightaway of a World Track venue?
Our students did not back down
But remember, if you are not first - you're last
As we left the National Stadium we had a short walk to the National Sports Training Center
This was another location where photography was not permitted. We were able to eat lunch with the Olympic athletes; tour the facilities, labs and sport venues; and hear lectures about the purpose of the NSTC, the funding of the NSTC and the plans moving forward to the Tokyo 2020 games
Day 8 After another high speed rail to Taichung, we boarded our first bus of the field experience
In Taichung we were introduced to Jeff Hsu owner of Integration Sports. Jeff gave a brief tour of his facility and the operation of his business.
After our tour, Jeff gave a lecture on Sport Governance in Taiwan. His lecture was extremely detailed and filled with practical examples and past experiences. This was one of the favorite speakers of the Field Experiences according to the students
Next stop was the National Taiwan Sport University
Once again we began with a facility tour before moving to the sport museum
Inside the Sport Museum we were able to view various Olympic medals and significant sports memorabilia in Taiwan's history
As we completed our tour of NTSU, we took another group photo. On the far left you can see ETSU alum Mark Chiang who is an Assistant Professor and our guide for the day.
Our final event of the day was to attend a baseball game between Fubon and the Lamigos. Each of us became huge fans of the Blue Lamigos and their mascot. The baseball game was pretty good too.
Day 9 Our final day was spent at the Taipei American School. This was a great experience as one of the GSLD alumni was our host (Trey Mitchell, Ed.d)
The facility tour and engagement buy the coaches and administration was first class
Every inch of space was being used for the end of course testing. Here there are desks just waiting for students to begin their math finals within the gymnasium
In the robotics classroom you can see a small Christmas tree. The instructor is from North Carolina and while he loves living in Taiwan it is always nice to have a little bit of NC there too
The weight room was impressive. The use of space was apparent and as you can see on the columns the use of dry erase paint creates "message boards" everywhere
Athletic facilities are nestled within the city and can appear to be an oasis from the concrete and steel of the city
Due to the heat and air quality of the area, constant monitoring is provided for coaches and teachers when determine when/if to take a class/team outside
Our final event of the field experience was a workshop with the parents, students and administrators of the Taiwan American School.
Led by Dr. Adam Sayers, this workshop provided information related to the Collegiate Sport Experience in the United States.
Dr. Sayers began the talk with the role of the coach and the importance of communication before handing the microphone off to members of the GSLD program
Berry Shumpert continued the discussion on the importance of communication as well as the variety of information/film sent for analysis
Masha Ilina finished the talk from a coach's point of view and also gave some insight as a former international student athlete
Tim Lewis spoke on compliance and eligibility. Tim currently works for the NCAA and was able to give some helpful information related to starting the process of becoming a collegiate athlete
Maegan Michalik, ATC began a discussion on sports medicine. What the benefits, services, etc.
Jon Mitchell, ATC continued the sports medicine discussion and gave information related to primary and secondary insurance
Nathan Barger, ATC concluded the sports medicine discussion on the importance of communication and the facilitator role that sports medicine provide throughout campus
Finally, Brian Johnston, Ph.D. closed the workshop with advice to both students and parents
This workshop was well received by all in attendance. Q & A continued long after the conclusion of the presentation and was recorded for future viewing at TAS
After returning from TAS, we all said goodby to Taiwan and prepared to return home.
The trip was amazing and knowledge gained over the field experience will not only be measured in the academic setting but in the professional setting.
Each student became more comfortable with the language, navigation and food of a foreign country
We will all be glad to return home but also look forward to next opportunity to explore other parts of the world
Created with images by DariuszSankowski - "old retro antique vintage classic photo map" • Jesus In Taiwan - "Touchdown Taipei"