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GP Launches New Study Abroad Program in Rio De Janeiro

Global Players has teamed up with academic partner IES Abroad to launch a new summer program in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil in 2015.

GP: Study Aborad Brazil program offers an academic focus on sports and society while exploring the rich and vibrant culture of Rio. Student-athletes will train with local teams; have weekly strength and conditioning sessions with a dedicated Global Players Athletic Director, while also attending college classes in this dynamic, well-rounded program. When possible, participants will also take part in tournaments or competition on a Global Players team or integrated with a local team enhancing their athletic skills, forming meaningful friendships with fellow foreign and local students, for a life changing experience as global citizens. The application deadline is March 1, 2015. APPLY NOW.


In feedback surveys, 100% of student-athlete participants report they chose to study abroad with Global Players because of the athletic component.  “We use sport as the vehicle of cultural immersion,” says Founder and Director of Program Development, Tara Michael, “but the academic component adds a dimension of theory and context, and for many, justifies the cost of six weeks abroad. We are absolutely thrilled to be working with the caliber of study abroad professionals at IES Abroad to launch our new program in Rio.”

RIO FEATURE SPORTS- Field Hockey, Football, Mens and Womens Soccer and Volleyball

'What's in your WALLET?' #86400

Have you ever heard of the “The Magic Bank Account”?

It was allegedly found in the billfold of the late but great legendary football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. It is truly one for the books so WE, Global Players, want you to take it in, enjoy it, read every word, REFLECT. THIS little antecdote can be a GAME-CHANGER.

It goes a little somethin' like this: 

"Congratulations, you are the winner of a very special prize. YOU won $86,400 to be deposited in your account for your personal use immediately. But WAIT... not so fast. There are rules you see... so pay attention...

The Rules:

  1. Everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you.
  2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
  3. You may only spend it.
  4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
  5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say, “Game Over!". It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.

Soooo... now that you know the rules....

What would you personally do? 

You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but also for all the people you love and care for? Even for people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself, right? You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right? 

Actually, this ‘game’ is real...Shocked??? YES! Each of us is already a winner of this ‘prize’. We just can't seem to see it.

The prize is TIME.

  1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life. 
  2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is not credited to us.
  3. What we haven't used up that day is forever lost.
  4. Yesterday is forever gone.
  5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time without warning.

So, what will you do with your 86,400 seconds?

Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars. Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.

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Powerful stuff right?

If you studied abroad with Global Players, you could win the “prize” of $1,814,400. In other words, you could spend 1,814,400 seconds, or three unforgettable weeks, studying and competing abroad. Make that 3,628,800 seconds if you spend 6 weeks with us! The benefits of studying abroad include gaining a new perspective, immersing yourself in another culture, growing the game, earning valuable academic credit,boosting your resume and much more!

Global Players understands the challenges many student-athletes face. Balancing schoolwork, your training schedule, and ultimately just having a LIFE outside your commitments. But we have designed programs that will allow you to do all of those at once. We are committed to providing student-athletes the chance to study abroad and train through innovative, unique, short-term programs. While abroad we focus on developing leadership and cross-cultural immersion by encouraging students to step out of their comfort zones. 

So... one last question for you. Are you ready to spend YOUR #86400 differently? 

It starts now. It starts.....

HERE

.

Fall 2013 Out of Bounds Honoree- Mike Wein + Brady's Bunch

[article from www.bradysbunchlacrosse.com]

Wein founded Brady’s Bunch as a way to honor his young son who is battling cancer and to spread the message that everyone should live every day to the fullest. Brady Wein is one of the youngest people in the United States to ever contract cancer, having been diagnosed with leukemia at the age of three months. Brady has been bravely battling the disease for more than three years now, having undergone two bone marrow transplants and numerous chemotherapy treatments.

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Mike Wein, a gregarious individual with an infectious personality, felt an overwhelming need to use his son’s illness to do good works. He started the Brady’s Bunch program for the purpose of using lacrosse and the club circuit as a vehicle to raise awareness about Acute Myeloid Leukemia while teaching other youngsters the fragility of life.  “Our philosophy is that you have to value life, value your parents, value your friends,” said Wein, who owns several Sal’s Pizza franchises. “We’re more than just a lacrosse club. We’re a family. And we try to teach our players to value every day. In a sporting vein, that means valuing each shift because you never know when it will be your last.”

Members of the Brady’s Bunch teams hail from 10 different states and Canada. Papi tracks down players through research or recommendation while they often find Brady’s Bunch through word of mouth. They meet in the hotel lobby (often for the first time) and bond over the course of a tournament.  “We gather together every night and tell stories. People pour their hearts out and talk about family members or friends who have died or are sick. Our players and coaches talk about what’s going on in their lives, what problems they’re having or issues they’re going through,” Wein said. “This is my therapy, it keeps me going. I cry with my guys all the time. No matter what happens on the lacrosse field, everyone involved with the Bunch comes away a winner.” 

Follow @BradysBunch12

Donate www.bradysbunchlacrosse.com 

Charlene's Project goes from strength to strength

Ugandan hockey benefits from efforts of Ireland's brilliant Barr family

April 26th, 2013

Natalie Barr with one of the many boxes of hockey equipment which will be sent to Uganda at the end of May.

Natalie Barr with one of the many boxes of hockey equipment which will be sent to Uganda at the end of May.

Last summer, Charlene’s Project travelled from Ireland with half a ton of hockey sticks, balls and kit to Uganda. A year on, the incredible Barr family looks set to make the same journey with double that amount as their efforts to promote the sport in a new area go from strength to strength, writes Stephen Findlater.

For the past couple of months, the Barrs have been travelling around the emerald isle picking up donations at events like the Irish Senior Cup final, the All-Ireland schoolgirls championships and the Irish Hockey League.

And the volume of the offerings has left Dickie Barr – the father of the family – with an “amazing” feeling.

“I couldn’t stress enough how fantastic it has been, going around the different grounds, people meeting us there and having kit bags, sticks and whatever,” he said. “You just experience a real oneness from everybody trying to make a difference.“

It’s another remarkable layer to a story that dates back to 1990. Born with cystic fibrosis, Charlene Barr was very ill in her first year of life and spent all her time in hospital, at times looking unlikely that she would survive.

After her first birthday, she was fostered by the Barr family, which subsequently led to adoption. Charlene passed away 20 years later from her condition but not before developing a deep love of Africa and a desire to put her altruistic side to use.

Nurturing this, the family travelled to Uganda in Easter 2008, a trip that transformed Charlene’s focus on life.

When Charlene had to drop out of school due to failing health she made the decision that she would raise money to build a school in Uganda so that children there would get a chance of an education.

She launched Charlene’s Project in September 2009 with the dream of building Hidden Treasure Primary School for children in Maya, Kampala.

The fact that Charlene suffered so much herself, yet still turned her attentions onto the needs of others separated this story like no other.

An initial fundraising, target of £70,000 for the building of a school to accommodate 250 children was reached within five months. A subsequent target of £120,000 to build a well for the local village and provide teacher accommodation for the school was also reached. 

However, while Charlene was seeing the project grow her health was failing and she passed away in October 2010. Just one week before, two Trustees from Charlene’s Project went to Uganda to finalise the legalities and admin for the school building to begin.

The day after she was buried photos came through of the ground being cleared, the trees being removed and the workers beginning the physical task of starting the work.

Now, three years on the Hidden Treasure school educates over 250 students a year with a well now in situ for the whole village of Maya.

Since then, the project has started building work on a second primary school in Kahara, with a borehole drilled nearby to supply water for the local community, too.

As part of both schools’ curriculum, hockey looks set to feature heavily. Charlene’s sisters are steeped in the sport. Natalie captaining Lurgan High School to the All-Ireland Schoolgirl’s Championship two years ago while twins Serena and Bethany matched that feat in March.

And they have used that passion to help add an extra dimension to the project. Their father, Dickie, explains that they are quickly developing this sporting aspect to the schools in an area where precious little options were available before.

“Going back to 2009 when we first went to Hidden Treasure, they just had a wooden shack and the kids were kicking around a dried fig as a football.

“We had brought a few frisbees and even the teachers had never seen frisbees before. That’s the context. Hockey in Hidden Treasure and Kahara, it's brand new.”

Natalie, an Irish underage international, went out to provide coaching last year and will be bringing her team this summer from Liberty College, Virginia where she is now on a hockey scholarship, to help expand the coaching.

“Its in its infancy. Last time, we did sessions with the teachers because it was all new to them.

“Last year, we were teaching them the rules. A lot of the kids were in bare foot and getting whacked around a little but they are just so hardy and you scarcely saw tears from them.”

They have been receiving help on the ground from Youth Sports Uganda and their director Joshua Opolot who is also the Ugandan national team coach.

He will host initial coaching days for over 400 children from Hidden Treasure and Kahara as well as from a number of other schools. Catering for those newcomers, though, required plenty of equipment and that has where the Irish hockey public has come through.

“We have a couple of rooms here filled with boxes of sticks, kit and equipment which we are looking to get shipped over by the end of May. It’s just been fantastic,” Dickie adds.“I think we’ll have more this year, somewhere between half a ton and a ton. Sticks and balls are the heaviest and they are still coming in. Last year, it was two palettes that we sent but I can see it being four palettes this time.

“We got about 800 shirts from people in Irish hockey so every child we meet, we will be able to give a piece of kit to which will make for some fantastic photographs. Last time around, Natalie gave sticks and cones but to be able to give a full kit to schools will be amazing.”

He adds the programme is developing apace with improved facilities available.

“Last year, all the coaching was on stone and soil. They now have a grass surface they can use but four initial sessions will be on the astroturf in Kampala.

“There is now a mixture of standards now because some of the kids Joshua has had in the camps before. When he has time to get around the schools, he will be trying to bring those players. 

“With the support from him trying to develop the sport in Uganda, there’s a double gain. The donations give him the resources to create a bigger impact.”

And the Irish hockey public has already been able to see the direct recipients of their donations.

“Through Facebook, you have some of the people who have donated kit seeing their gear in pictures. It makes that connection straightaway and the more photos we take, the more people are seeing their kit.

“It’s a powerful tool and shows the impact of everyone coming together and Irish hockey making a difference internationally. I love seeing that link developed.”

In future, Dickie hopes that more a couple of teams could travel out to Uganda to play some showcase games, perhaps in tandem with a voluntary building week. He says it is notional at the moment but his family’s ability to realise the incredible suggests it may closer to reality than he believes.

To learn more about Charlene's Project and Youth Sport Uganda, please click on the links below.  

Charlene’s Project:http://www.charlenesproject.org/index.php/latest-news/86-summer-trip-2012

Youth Sport Uganda: http://www.ysuganda.org/

A video about Charlene's Project, created in 2009, can be found at the bottom of this page. 

Winter Abroad: Guatemala 2013 (Part IV)

Every GP program has four pillars: learn, play, travel, and serve. Learn  is covered up, down, and sideways as students attend classes or internships and walk around as human sponges in a land unknown. Play is the athletic component where students are training, playing, working out etc. They might be hiking a volcano one day, surfing the next, or working out at a gym with inspirational posters of women in American flag thong-onsies with 1980's hair. I'll give it to 'em, they were in good shape. But I digress. The third pillar is Travel; inherent in any GP experience as the trip is studying abroad. When it comes to the fourth pillar- Serve- is when we really start talkin' meat and potatoes. 

This year the Serve element was coordinated by and in conjunction with a social change organization in Guatemala called Manos Amigas (Helping Hands). Manos Amigas is dedicated to changing the reputation of youth in Guatemala from one of criminals and delinquents to restoring the innocence of kids by giving them opportunities through sport and alternatives to drug problems, violence, and prostitution. Their motto is "Say YES to life!"

We travelled to a little town called Rio Dolce, 5 hours away from Antigua by bus, on a Friday afternoon after class and arrived at our hotel, aka rainforest paradise, at dusk. There was a long night ahead prepping for the camp the next day - coaching words to be learned in Spanish, designing drills and games for beginners, and learning about the situation of the kids we would meet. The next day, up at 5 to be on the boat to Livingston by 6. Livingston is hardly accessible by road, at least that wouldn't be one's preferred mode of transport. It is known as a little fishing town and tourist destination in Guatemala and it faces many challenges such as high illiteracy rates, malnutrition, and sex and drug trafficking. But that reality would hopefully be out of sight and out of mind while the children we worked with had sticks in their hands.  And it was. They were safe. They were free to be kids. They had clean water and a sandwich. They were lovin' life! And so were we. It was hot as, well, Guatemala, but our GP crew stuck it out and I think those memories will be imprinted in their minds and hearts for a long, long time.

Working with the young leaders in Livingston in the session before the camp started inspired ideas for our organizations to work closer together by developing channels for these kids to use the vehicle of lacrosse to study abroad - just as American students are doing with GP but going the other way - some of these kids with natural talent and ability, and more than anything, work ethic, may have what it takes to get a scholarship. 

All in all, what a journey.

Winter Abroad: Guatemala 2013 (Part IV)

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Serve. Lacrosse Donations from US

Every GP program has four pillars: learn, play, travel, and serve. Learn  is covered up, down, and sideways as students attend classes or internships and walk around as human sponges in a land unknown. Play is the athletic component where students are training, playing, working out etc. They might be hiking a volcano one day, surfing the next, or working out at a gym with inspirational posters of women in American flag thong-onsies with 1980's hair. I'll give it to 'em, they were in good shape. But I digress. The third pillar is Travel; inherent in any GP experience as the trip is studying abroad. When it comes to the fourth pillar- Serve- is when we really start talkin' meat and potatoes. 

This year the Serve element was coordinated by and in conjunction with a social change organization in Guatemala called Manos Amigas (Helping Hands). Manos Amigas is dedicated to changing the reputation of youth in Guatemala from one of criminals and delinquents to restoring the innocence of kids by giving them opportunities through sport and alternatives to drug problems, violence, and prostitution. Their motto is "Say YES to life!"

We travelled to a little town called Rio Dolce, 5 hours away from Antigua by bus, on a Friday afternoon after class and arrived at our hotel, aka rainforest paradise, at dusk. There was a long night ahead prepping for the camp the next day - coaching words to be learned in Spanish, designing drills and games for beginners, and learning about the situation of the kids we would meet. The next day, up at 5 to be on the boat to Livingston by 6. Livingston is hardly accessible by road, at least that wouldn't be one's preferred mode of transport. It is known as a little fishing town and tourist destination in Guatemala and it faces many challenges such as high illiteracy rates, malnutrition, and sex and drug trafficking. But that reality would hopefully be out of sight and out of mind while the children we worked with had sticks in their hands.  And it was. They were safe. They were free to be kids. They had clean water and a sandwich. They were lovin' life! And so were we. It was hot as, well, Guatemala, but our GP crew stuck it out and I think those memories will be imprinted in their minds and hearts for a long, long time.

IMG_3051.jpg

Working with the young leaders in Livingston in the session before the camp started inspired ideas for our organizations to work closer together by developing channels for these kids to use the vehicle of lacrosse to study abroad - just as American students are doing with GP but going the other way - some of these kids with natural talent and ability, and more than anything, work ethic, may have what it takes to get a scholarship. 

All in all, what a journey.

Winter Abroad: Guatemala 2013 (Part III)

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1v1's

You think playing 1v1 is hard in a drill for 30 seconds? Try 

teaching 

one-on-one for precisely 3 hours and 30 minutes; or being on the other side and 

learning. 

I can speak to the teaching side of the table because I taught English to Germans for three years while I was living in Hamburg. I don't think the students realize how difficult it is for the teacher. They know how grueling it is for them. But they haven't put themselves in the shoes of teachers taking their academic task very seriously. But the results are there. Every student has made huge strides in their Spanish; linking theory to practice, grammar to fluency, doubt to confidence. They are coming out of their shells, it's amazing to see, and hear. I feel it too as a student. As with any travel, when you start to dig deeper and explore your own boundaries, you learn and grow and change. Everyone on this trip had an open mind coming into it. Now it seems they've each opened their heart as well. They've been touched with grace and humility and adventure and freedom. And we've become a family. Now it's time to spread our roots...

Winter Abroad: Guatemala 2013 (Part II)

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WIFI or no WIFI? That is the question.

Each of us has had the experience of staying in two different homestays in Antigua. It was a big change in the middle of the program but I've lived to tell the tale. It wasn't that crazy, but it was interesting. The first home was really more like a student hostel; there were 7-9 students sitting around the table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner promptly at 7:30am, 12:30pm, and 6:30pm respectively. Three of us were from GP, the others were from Spring Arbor University in Michigan, and one chica was a cool Cali native who came all the way to Guatemala to work on an organic farm and practice her Spanish with the workers. So there we all were. Not exactly the Brady bunch but it made for good conversation....in English. 

Come to find out our host 'mom and dad', Eldar, a retired bank worker and his wife, Marina, rented the house so they could make a business out of hosting foreign students studying at the first language school where we were studying. It was clear this wasn't their first rodeo, they new their stuff about hosting. We were having crepes for breakfast and pork chops with veggies for lunch, there was always enough for seconds, and then we could peacefully retire to our rooms and plug into the wifi. But learning this wasn't their house, that it wasn't the place they raised their children and had fond memories, explained why they also never sat down to eat with us, and frankly it took away from the authenticity of the experience. This was a major factor in why the GP Directors in-country decided to change schools, second to the most prevailing academic necessity.

Well if we wanted authenticity, we got it the second go around. In my second homestay at times I felt like I was in a convent, or a monastery, take your pick. Meals were more sparse and conversation was one-sided, and by one-sided I mean limited to me and one other GP student listening to our 77-year-old host 

abuela (

grandmother

)

 telling stories about crooked politics, wartime, family illnesses, and her favorite topic, the operation she underwent five months prior. So grandparents all over the world are very similar!  I could only understand about 15% of what she said due to my limited vocabulary and would often turn to Megan for translation - who I think got about 50-60%. The rest didn't make it through the funnel. We wanted authentic and intimate? We got it!

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At first the experience was exhilarating as I genuinely love challenges and meeting new people. At some point that turned to frustrating because I had to rely on someone else for translating. And then one night, when Megan was out hiking a volcano and not home in time for dinner, I was at home by myself with abuela Aura and endured a two hour conversation during dinner and beyond. Then it was just plain exhausting. I had to focus so intently on the ebbs and flows of her speech to listen for intonation and any vocab words I knew, and she wasn't slowing down to clarify, even though at times I can only imagine the look on my face. I listened with all my senses. Sometimes, when I thought I picked up some content, I would put together a question for clarification just to get a word in edgewise. Something like, "how many years you when you [had] your first son?" She was 43! That was a whole other topic I would have loved to explore but nope, on she went, and I continued listening. In the end this was such a great bonding experience and I was so grateful for this time alone with our abuela. A few days later, when I forgot my keys at home and she said she should 'give me 100 lashings' I knew it was a term of endearment :)

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In terms of cultural interchange, that was abundant in our second homestay. Modern conveniences, not so much. Well we had a warm shower, which I couldn't figure out at the last place. True, it was a choice between temperature and water pressure, but I got clean. And a big difference at this place was the lack of wifi. We had to walk 5 minutes back to the school to use wifi. This was really an inconvenience at first because I had become accustomed to Skyping with my family at night but I managed to read three books, journal, and (gasp) study (!) in my spare time. Other good habits I practiced included: getting up early, getting to bed early, cleaning my plate, finishing my milk, and practicing my Spanish. I have literally spoken more Spanish in the three weeks I've lived in Guatemala than Dutch in the four years I have lived in Holland. 

All in all, it was a tough decision to change schools but the homestays were a major factor in that decision and we made the right choice. We all had more authentic and varied experiences and we were more present in the moment and in the country than somewhere out in wifi world tweeting about it instead of living it.

Winter Abroad: Guatemala 2013

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TOUCH DOWN ANTIGUA

By now we've settled into Antigua, Guatemala, an enchanting city with it's well preserved Spanish-baroque architecture serving as our home base for Spanish lessons and cultural immersion. From every point in the city you can see the three volcanoes dominating the expansive skyline, but don't look up too long, at least not while walking on the cobblestone streets, or you might break an ankle! Uneven is an understatement. It's no wonder Guatemalans drive old pick-up trucks, mini vans, and my personal favorite, the family dirt bike. The family dirt bike looks something like this: un padre driving, small child, una madre, and behind her whatever lucky stranger got picked-up walking to the city from a nearby town, hanging on for dear life just happy he isn't walking in the afternoon sun. Sometimes there is even an older child in front of papi, and mama has a newborn wrapped to her in a traditional sling, sleeping soundly, pacified by the bumby road. (I don't know whatwas in the air nine months ago 'round these parts but it seems like every mother has a new baby.) No streetlights, no crosswalks, no lanes. So like I said, watch your step when walking. But it doesn't take long to develop an internal alert system conscious to the ebbs and flows of traffic so only a slight pause in conversation is needed before navigating across an intersection.

Each morning is “Buenos dias!” as everyone greets each other in the street, strangers and friends alike, morning, noon, and night. “Buenos dias. Como estas? - Bien, bien. Gracias. Y tu?” People must be overdosing on the vitamin D from the sun which, by the way, hasn't stopped shining since we arrived. Highs of 90's during the day, lows of 60's at night. Tourists and students are in shorts and tank tops, locals, especially children, are in hats, scarves, and winter jackets. Hmmmm.

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CHICKEN BUS TO TRAINING

Travel was taken to a whole new level the day we went for our field training. Wearing matching GP gear and toting lacrosse sticks, as if we didn't stand out before, to get to the field we took what foreigners call the 'chicken bus' because Guatemalans carry chickens on their lap from farms to the cities. This monstrosity of a vehicle - which looks like the engine and cabin of an 18-wheeler was welded to the body of a school bus – should rather be called a 'sardine bus', because that's how we were packed in. Amongst a sea of brown faces (all staring at us) who fit comfortably three or four people to a seat, there we were, seven gringos (foreigners) in matching clothes with funny sticks ('for fishing?') either standing or trying to get one cheek on a seat somewhere. Luckily it was only a 20 minute drive and people were getting on and off constantly; we laughed and talked over the roar of the engine, happily bumping along as our seatmates smiled at our Spanish skills :-)

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Lo and behold the chicken bus delivered us safely to our destination: a futbol field presumably used by workers after tending to the sugar fields on the farm which surrounded it. Oh yeah, and we were right at the base of 12,356 foot volcano, Volcan de Aqua. Not too shabby a background for ladder drills and stick skills. Won't be forgetting that image anytime soon.  

Weekly trainings this week consisted of a hill/mountain/trail run, light weight reps and balance exercises, and the agility and stickwork training. We couldn't ask for a better group of athletes. Everyone is drinking lots of water, working hard, and eating well. Black beans breakfast, lunch, and dinner? Check. Frozen watermelon covered in vegan chocolate? Check. Drinking one gallon of water per day? Check. Speaking of a gallon of water, that's probably how much Pacific saltwater I got in my mouth, nose, and eyeballs over the weekend...

SURFS UP

To round off the week, our excursion this weekend was to the surf camp El Paredon. To find this hidden gem just drive to the end of the Earth, turn left onto basically 'el dirt road de Juan Carlos' and keep going 14km until you see the ocean. It's only about two hours from Antigua which is convenient. Well, three if you get lost. The drive was beautiful but it was soon trumped by something you don't experience everyday; black volcanic sand (which literally felt like lava during the peak afternoon hours!). The beach was desolate save a few other guests staying at the camp and the ocean was calling... baiting us into the waves. Before diving in we got a safety lesson on the rips, currents and strengths of the waters and everyone learned quickly to respect the Pacifico. This was no Ocean City, MD. During surf lessons, everyone caught waves and lived to tell about it. Hang ten amigos! 

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Days were filled with bouts in the water, laying in hammocks, cat naps, reading, and speaking Spanish. Tough life but someone's got to live it. Speaking of Spanish this is a little something I put together... Lets put your Spanish to the test.

Nosotros vamos a la playa

Nosotros vamos a la playa en Guatemala. Nostros llegamos el sabato por a manana. La playa es muy linda. Yo camino en la playa y yo nado en el mar. Un 'yogi', Jed, toca una harmonia y el didjerido. Las mujeres preparan el desayuno, el almuerzo, y la cena.

Now, granted this is simple text and it's only in present tense and limited to verbs ending in -ar BUT I started with 'Hola!' three days ago! I'm proud of it and so is my Spanish teacher Alvaro so onwards and upwards. This week on to irregular verbs, adjectives, questions, and maybe if we're lucky... past tense. Plus, salsa lessons, more weekly workouts, and gearing up for our big service project with Manos Amigas coaching lacrosse in Spanish!

Stay tuned... 

(For more pictures of the Guatemala adventures please follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.)

Out of Bounds Honoree- Katy Mohr

BY: TAYLOR YOUNG, GP '11

Global Players is thrilled to announce our latest Out of Bounds Honoree, Katy Mohr. With the Out of Bounds Honor, we like to recognize someone who is striving to better themselves and the lacrosse community, by spreading the game and promoting the great benefits lacrosse can offer. Mohr represents all of Global Players main pillars; learn, play, travel, serve. Not only that, she has gone above and beyond in all that she has accomplished.

Originating from Michigan, Mohr has been intensively involved with the game of lacrosse for the past twelve years. Graduating from Western Michigan University with a B.S in Recreation, Mohr played for the WMU Broncos, and has since enjoyed coaching and officiating many levels of lacrosse; including middle school all the way to her newest position as the Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Oklahoma Baptist University.

We love a good coach BUT what really got Mohr the OOB honor was her participation with Fields of Growth. Mohr traveled to Uganda in the summer of 2011 with Fields of Growth, which is a non-profit organization thats mission is right on par with Global Players- "to harness the passion of the lacrosse community into positive social impact through global leadership development, service and growing the game." While in Uganda, Mohr served as Director of Communications for Fields of Growth where her extensive work landed her the role of Manager of Mission Based Travel for the organization. During the time Mohr spent in Uganda 2011, she helped ignite the sport of lacrosse for women by leading the beginning of a program at Makerere University Business School in Uganda. Mohr coached the first women’s national championship team for Uganda. Global Players would like to congratulate Katy Mohr on all of her successful efforts to serve and give back to the game that she loves, lacrosse. 

For more on Fields of Growth and their global initiative click here. 

*If you know of someone that is making a difference in the world through sport they could be the next Out of Bounds honoree. Please email your nomination(s) to Taylor Young.

Summer Abroad: European Championship Festival

So far this week's tournament has been absolutely ROCKIN' for GP. The men and women's teams are demonstrating their love for the game and having fun while doing it. With this combination of GP student athletes and intense love for the game...BOOM--you've got some teams determined for the title! 

Playing with an against international players enables GP athletes to truly experience laxin' euro style. As the tournament carries on GP is looking to secure seats in the final round for both the men's and women's teams.

Today the men play three games, starting off with a competitive game against the USA stars while the women (playing two games later in the afternoon) will cheer them on for a win.

The weekend is full of tournament parties and excitement. Friday is the final round for the tournament and all teams are still getting at it for a seed. The best of the best in Europe will compete Saturday evening in the championship round of the Europeans. After intense competition over the past two weeks, teams will let down their hair, demonstrate their countries traditions, and celebrate their participation in what has been an amazing tournament at the final celebration party.

Looking forward to the next days here in Amsterdam and getting excited to keep representing GP style...Here we GO! 

 

Summer Abroad 2012: European Championship Festival

With music blasting, lacrosse teams all over the place, and delicious little food carts--it goes without saying that Amsterdam knows how to organize a lacrosse festival. 

Arriving to the fields yesterday on their newly rented or purchase bikes, students were ready to start getting after it in the tournament. Coming out strong both the men and women proved to be victorious in yesterdays games. After the games students headed back to their campsites and the girls cooked dinner for the group. 

Today the weather is looking GREAT and like it will be a nice sunny day for some laxin' Euro-style. Here we go Global! 

Summer Abroad 2012: Amsterdam

Kicking off the student's time here in Amsterdam we had an UvA welcome dinner on Friday followed by a free weekend where students visited the museums of Amsterdam and got adjusted into the city life. 

Sunday afternoon the students were taken to the Noordermarkt where it is rumored to have the best apple pie in all of Amsterdam...and boy is it DELICIOUS. If you have never had Dutch apple pie then you have to get to the Netherlands as soon as possible to try some of it!! Believe me, it is worth it! 

Orientation at the University was on Monday morning before the students headed to their first class. After a night of readings in preparation for the following morning, students woke up to a big rain storm. I am sure this is not how they wanted to experience their first bike ride to school, but the students made the most of it and enjoyed their first day of classes. 

While our men got to relax after the days events, the women headed to their practice with the Amsterdam Lions. Meeting some new friends the girls got an opportunity to see what Dutch lacrosse is all about while also learning where to go and where not to go in Amsterdam. After practice the girls were able to navigate themselves back to their housing after only having been here for a few days and never to that part of Amsterdam, we've got some travelers folks :) 

Tonight the ladies will have the night off and the men will head out to practice with the men's team. Followed by an early morning Bikram yoga class on Wednesday!!

Summer Abroad 2012: Amsterdam + Prague First Days

ICP began their adventure to Prague early Monday morning while the Amsterdam students had the day to spend and sight see in Berlin. Teaming up with some guys from the Swiss National team they rented bikes and rode all over the city. After a busy day of sightseeing the group had a relaxing dinner together at a restaurant in Berlin watching the European Tournament followed by a delicious ice cream stop before heading home and calling it a night. 

Meanwhile ICP arrived safely to Praha and settled into their Real World-style apartments in Zizkov, just a short walk from the city center. Shortly after their arrival, the directors planned a surprise midnight walk guiding them through the cobblestone alleyways of Old Town, over the Charles Bridge and up to the Castle where you can see all of Prague below. Not a bad way to kick off your second week in Europe, right? Yesterday the students took a riverboat city tour followed by their second coaching course: Transformational Coaching-Why do you coach and what kind of coach do you want to be for your players? Today is the second coaching test run--9 and 10 year old Czech girls in 1 hour....oh yeaaa!  

The next morning checkout went smoothly with Amsterdam students and the trip to the train station was a breeze. This group of students are AWESOME! The train ride seemed to go by relatively quickly accompanied by a series of naps and book reading to pass the time. We even met a friend on the train who had just graduated from RIT and was traveling for a month before he beings working at Microsoft...cool, he?! 

Once we had arrived in Amsterdam (also known as Hampsty to Tori) the students were happy to arrive at the housing complex and be able to settle in to their "home" for the remainder of the trip. Conveniently located minutes from the city center, students are in a perfect location for all of the adventures that Amsterdam has in store for them. 

This afternoon students will hop on the bikes and get a tour of Amsterdam to acquaint them a bit with the area and also to get a chance to see the countryside aspect of Amsterdam that they maybe would not have the opportunity to see other wise. 

Summer Abroad 2012: Berlin Open--The Final Results

It was another day of beautiful weather as the GP men's and women's teams competed yesterday for a shot at the title in the Berlin Open.

Despite not being able to secure a position in the final competition, the men's team gave the Crease Monkeys a good run for their money and had some stellar defensive movement in the semi-final round. Placing fourth overall, they not only focused on having fun with one another but also possessed an intensity to carry them in the tournament competition. 

Having proved to be one of the most intense games the women played through the tournament, the final round versus Redlands University was one for the books. The women played as a team and fought hard for the win. Coming out strong, the women were tied 3-3 at the half and kept the intensity through out the game; but unfortunately were unable to overcome the strength of Redlands seasoned team play and finished second overall. 

Also a special mention goes out to our very own Global Player, Shannon Burns, for winning the women's tournament MVP! WAY TO GO SHANNON!

As the tournament weekend comes to a close, it is an understatement to say how proud we are of both the men's and women's teams. Coming into the tournament having never played together, both teams demonstrated elements of leadership and connection--a chemistry--that enabled them to fully embrace the international tournament experience. 

Summer Abroad 2012: Berlin Open--Tourny Time

Two intense days of tournament play, the men's team will be moving onto the semi-final round playing their 6th game of the tournament against the Crease Monkeys and the women's team will be in the final round playing their 7th game of the tournament against Redlands University.

Going into the weekend, Global Players was expecting a series of rain showers through out the tournament and somewhat cold weather...but once again the weather of Europe proved the weather forecast wrong...the weekend has turned out to be beautiful so far. But remember, always pack for four season...every day ;)

Over the years, the competition of the Berlin Open has grown exponentially. Both the men's and women's teams have faced close games through out the tournament. This morning and afternoon will be challenging games for the teams but Global Players is digging for the wins. The men have had serious trophy envy of the woman's team over the years because they have never come in anything better than 3rd and the women's team has won the competition all the years we have participated in the tournament. 

Right now were finishing up a quick breakfast at the hostel and heading out to the mens game...HERE WE GO GP! 

Summer Abroad 2012: Berlin Day 2

After an early morning coaching session, a little bit of weather apprehension (to rain or not to rain...that is the question), the ICP participants and students headed across the street, with rain coats handy, to the TV Tower where we met our bike tour guide Tom.

A fanny pack that conveniently has speakers for music, otherwise known as a Jammypack, was the perfect accessory as the participants began their bike across Berlin accompanied by the musical talents of Britney Spears and the like. 

The participants saw everything from the remnants of the Berlin Wall, Hitlers underground bunker, the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust memorial and more. 

Returning back to the hostel after the tour the ICP participants went off to coach their first practice with BLax. Through the cold, rain, wind...nothing could deter the coaches or the teams from having a fun and energetic practice. The staff of BLax was beyond welcoming and there was a lot of people there eager to have the coaching of our Global Players.

While the ICP participants were coaching, the Amsterdam study abroad students headed off to their first ever Toastmasters International meeting. Toastmasters is a non-profit organization that offers the individual the opportunity to practice their public speaking, communication, and leadership skills. The students got to sit in on the meeting and take part in different aspects of the activities throughout the evening.

After a long day of activities the Global Players all met downstairs in the hostel to enjoy an evening out in Berlin with one another. Through the day tomorrow the international players of our GP squad will be arriving and the Berlin Open experience will begin. 

Summer Abroad 2012: Berlin Day 1

Arrivals, arrivals, arrivals! Today after a long day of travel, lost sticks, adventures to the hostel from the airport, and a warm welcome by the GP staff here in Berlin students are now finally settling in, adjusting to the jet lag, and culture of Germany. 

Located in the heart of the city, CityStay enables students to be able to feel the vibe and pulse of Berlin. Almost directly across from the hostel the students look up at the Fernsehturm which to most tourists is known as the TV tower. At 380m high it is not known for its aesthetics but rather the amazing view of the city. 

As the Amsterdam study abroad was arriving, our ICP participants had their first coaching course with Jess and Eamon. Completed with an Urban Lax session in a near by park, participants are gearing up for tomorrow evening with first hand experience and insight into the world of coaching with the BLax team here in Berlin.

Tonight there will be a GP social so that ICP participants and students will be able to get to know one another and the city followed by an early afternoon bike tour of the city tomorrow. Summer Abroad 2012 here we COME! 

Day Eight - Antigua and Beyond

Today we set out to Antigua for our final wrap up meeting and a few meetings with different Spanish schools. It just further confirmed our excitement and the possibility in truly making a difference here with an annual program. There were many different ideas exchanged on this journey but one similarity remains, sport can truly bridge the gap between cultures and in many cases save lives. Both Global Players and Manas Amigas have the same mission in wanting to create a better future for both the ones being served and those providing the service. Although we spent just over a week in Guatemala we walk away with a deep and meaningful understanding of the culture, the history and the direction a handful of passionate people of this great country want it to go. There may be crime, poverty and a history that can put a black cloud on the present, but there is also beauty, richness and hope for tomorrow. There is a reason we continue to say "become a traveler not a tourist". Tourism is great as an initial step but traveling will take you on a journey. On behalf of all of us at Global Players, we thank the consortium here in Guatemala for embracing us this week and making our time here extraordinary.

For those that are families of our organization, alumni and the like, or a potential Global Player, stay tuned for a program that we feel will not only define this organization but help to define those that are a part of it as we hope all our programs continue to do.

PLAY THE GLOBE TO CHANGE THE GLOBE.

Day Seven - Antigua

PART UNO
One of the most valuable experiences when traveling is hearing from the people that live there everyday and experience the challenges that come with it. After a peace treaty was signed in 1996, Guatemala vowed to change the social patterns that plagued them years prior. Yet, the genocide and lost family members yet to be recovered left a stain on the culture today.  This truth has led a group of women to try to repair the damage done by the civil war. Today we had the pleasure of having breakfast with them to hear their stories and learn more about their cause. The consortium that also supports Rodrigo's efforts with Manos Amigas, stands behind an organization founded originally by a Dutch missionary for the purpose of empowering women to make a change. Shortly after it began a number of women came out of the woodwork to join this movement. Some of their work focuses on recovering the lost, gathering memories and accounts to memorialize the civil war and those left behind, build up the youth through sport and recreation to get them working together in a positive way and helping the victims of the history create a better future for themselves. You could really taste a unique mixture of heartache and hope during our time with them today. And the hope rests in the hands of the future- the Guatemalan youth who make up 70% of the population- to help restore the past.
We learned about some shocking truths today that make you sad and in moments angry that they exist. One of these realities is that kids can not just be kids. They have to fend for their family as early as 8-10 years old. The majority of children drop out of school only after 3-5 years not out of desire but out of necessity because they have to support their family. Those that dream for something more have to put those desires to rest and themselves last. An example of this is 22 year old Anna, a member of the women's group and a recent graduate of high school. In this way she is unique because she was able to finish secondary school but one of many in that out of necessity she has to take care of her abandoned nephew and family instead of attending nursing school, something she has always wanted to do. A Nursing program here in Guatemala including books and materials cost only about $500 in total. Hearing that really moved us sitting at the opposite side of the table. For the cost of a cheap month's rent in the US, one intelligent, promising young Guatemalan woman can become a nurse. Here in Guatemala, a little can go a long, long way. We are excited to see where we can help as Global Players. 
PART DOS
After breakfast with the women's group and an eye opening look at the country's past and present we totally flipped the switch on the day and headed to a surf camp to check out the Pacific and take in our trip thus far. As the pattern for most of our journey this week, we took a car to a riverboat to arrive at our destination: Paredon Surf House. Sure we had to maneuver our way on a dirt road past a dozen pigs, some chickens and a horse or two but finally there it was ahead, the ocean. We spent the afternoon surfing, reflecting and resting before our final day in Guatemala. Back to Antigua mañana for a final look at the schools, meeting with Rodrigo, Gaby and the consortium before wrapping it up here in Central America.