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FFB host visiting University of Tennessee VOLEADERS Academy

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Posted: Wednesday, June 30, 2021. 2:05 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Football Federation of Belize (FFB) hosted the visiting University of Tennessee VOLeaders Academy.

A social media post by the FFB said they “had the privilege of opening our doors to a group of Students and Leaders from the University of Tennessee and share with them a little bit of the FFB’s mandate, vision, mission and football development plans. They also had the opportunity to learn about the roles each director plays at the FFB.”

The FFB said the visitors are athletes who represent 18 different sporting disciplines from the University of Tennessee and make up the VOLeaders Academy.

“Their trip to Belize is aimed at having a greater understanding of the impact of sports in the development of youth and building leaders through sport,” said the FFB.

Joe Scogin, Senior Associate Athletics Director & Assistant Provost, said the 37 student-athletes spent the last year investing in their leadership journey.

“We’re in Belize to connect with organizations and associations to learn about how sport is used in Belize to empower young men and young women to connect with the community and to engage with those that have an interest in using sport and the power of sport to do positive things in this world,” Scogin said to the FFB’s Marketing and Communications Director Yashmin Juan.

Apart from the FFB, the students from the University of Tennessee already visited the National Sports Council in Belize City earlier this week.

“It has been very interesting to hear what sports are prioritized here in Belize, what access to sports looks like in Belize,” Scogin said.

Scogin added that they selected Belize on recommendation of a connection they have at their Center for Global Engagement which has multiple groups who come to Belize annually to do different service-learning trips.

“As we were selecting locations for this year, we wanted to try to create an opportunity and experience for our students that is unique, that they have never experienced before, and connect with a culture that really understands the power of sport.”

According to Tennessee Athletics, the VOLeaders Academy is a partnership between UT’s Division of Student Life; the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences; and the Department of Athletics and “was developed to cultivate positive student-athlete leaders through sport to create positive social change.”

So far, according to Tennessee Athletics, the VOLeaders have visited Brazil, Ecuador, Rwanda, and Vietnam.

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