Coaching Science Students Offer Sports Camp in Haiti
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Oklahoma State University students minoring in coaching science traveled to Pignon, Haiti, in June to offer a sports camp for local children.
“I wanted our students to experience a different country and culture, and give them the opportunity to coach outside of their comfort zone,” said Dr. Tim Baghurst, College of Education associate professor and coordinator of the coaching science minor and physical education degree program.
After arriving in Haiti, the group took a three-hour van ride on dirt roads to Pignon, where they stayed at a facility built by Hosean International Ministries (HIM) specifically for short-term events and groups. Students spent five days coaching a variety of sports including netball, rugby, cricket, disc golf, handball, and hockey to approximately 120 children between the ages of four and 16. Students also helped construct a long jump pit, high jump, and volleyball court for the facility to use. On the final day, the group traveled to historic La Citadelle and Sans Souci near Cap Haitian before enjoying a few hours of beach time prior to their departure home.
“It was an amazing experience,” said physical education major Colt Mobley. “I learned so much about myself and had to overcome challenges coaching that I’d never have to face in the U.S. I’ve never been out of the country and it was incredibly eye-opening to see the struggle that these kids face every day. I’ve definitely learned to appreciate what I have and hope to go back next year.”
OSU students earned course credit for the trip. Plans are already underway to return to Pignon next summer.
“Although we accomplished a lot while there,” said Baghurst. “I would like to see us return regularly so that we can establish long-term relationships between our students at OSU and the students part of HIM.”
For more information about international opportunities in the College of Education, visit education.okstate.edu/is. Learn more about OSU’s coaching science minor at https://education.okstate.edu/csm or find OSU Physical Education on Facebook.