HPESS international trips put sports in context

Upcoming international learning experiences offered through Baldwin Wallace University’s School of Health, Physical Education, and Sports Sciences (HPESS) will allow interested students to travel abroad for class credits.
The first trip happening this Spring Semester will be the Discover Brazil trip and is a collaboration between the School of Business and the Sports Management program, which will be co-led by School of Business Professor Mary Pisnar and HPESS Assistant Professor Tony Dick.
“I’m looking forward to it,” said Dick, “it’s going to be awesome.”
Prior to the trip there will be 24 students taking a class to learn about Brazil and prepare before departing in May, he said. One of the focuses for the students will be to compare and contrast sports in the United States versus sports in Brazil. Dick believes there are several opportunities to allow the students to see the differences in sports in Brazil.
“One of the things we are going to take a look at while we’re there,” said Dick, “is the socioeconomic impact of both the Olympics and the World Cup that were recently held.”
While in Rio de Janeiro, the group will attend a soccer game at Maracana Stadium, the largest stadium in Brazil. Dick believes the students will be in for a surprise.
“Being in Cleveland, you know what passionate fans look like, but this is like an extreme degree,” said Dick. “It doesn’t really compare.”
According to Dick, the group will also visit a cosmetic manufacturing plant, a BW sister school in Curitiba, the Honey Island Nature Reserve, Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain and Copacabana Beach. The group will also go to Iguazu Falls, which is one of the largest waterfalls in the world.
“To see the best view, we will go into Argentina,” said Dick, “it will be neat to see that, especially with the current debate on open borders.”
Despite a short visit to Argentina to see the falls, nearly the entirety of the trip is focused around Brazil.
The next trip for the School of HPESS is the Global Sports in Ireland and Scotland trip which will happen in the Spring of 2020. The trip will be led by HPESS Professors Kerry Bebie, Megan Frank, and Dale Sheptak.
The recruitment phase for this excursion begins in January when students get back from Winter break, and faculty members are hoping to get 30 students for the trip.
The two-week international trip will help the students gain hands-on experience with leaders in the global sports industry and will help them develop a greater understanding of the social, political, and economic impact of sports in Ireland and Scotland. Bebie said that it is a valuable trip for the students to be a part of.
“I think any international exposure is important,” she said. “These countries are very interesting in terms of their historical perspective. Although they are small nations, they have such a huge contribution globally.”
While in Ireland, students will spend time in Dublin, Belfast, and Cork, said Bebie. They will visit Croke Park, Aviva Stadium which is the home of Leinster Professional Rugby Club, the Cliffs of Moher and Burren, and Blarney Castle. Students will also go to the University College Dublin for some lectures. Bebie added that this trip is a very academically-focused trip, which will include about 14 lectures. She has been to Ireland but looks forward to her first time in Scotland.
“This is a different trip from the last one, so I will learn plenty just based on what I will be listening to: the different guest speakers that we’ll be going to,” she said. “I’ve never been to Scotland. Dr. Sheptak is from Scotland so he’s very familiar with it and it will be nice to have him as our tour guide.”
While in Scotland, Bebie said, the group will spend time in Glosgow and Edinburgh. They will visit the University of Stirling, Hampden Park Football Stadium, Edinburgh Castle, Royal Mile and Easter Road Stadium.