***San Francisco Chronicle publishes ASI letter-to-editor calling for physical activity-based learning for schoolchildren.***

ASI Presents at Iraqi Conference on Sport Sciences, Extends International Network

Despite the turmoil that plagues Iraq, educators and researchers from higher education within the country and throughout the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Russia, and the United States came together in March 2014, for the Fifth International Scientific Conference of Training Sciences and Sport Physiology. The conference was hosted by the University of Basrah in southeastern Iraq, approximately 28 kilometers (17 miles) from the Iranian border.

American Sports Institute president Joel Kirsch was one of the invited speakers to present at the conference. You can access his presentation The Higher Calling of Sport: The Imperative for Revisioning Sport Psychology, Competition, and Why We Engage in Physical Activity (pdf).

The American Sports Institute was fortunate to meet and interact with a number of distinguished presenters and participants. A few weeks after the conference, several of them accepted invitations to join our International Board of Advisors.


Here’s a visual overview of the conference:

  • The program opens with a prayer (video).

Conference Banner.Edited     Kirsch being presented to audience.Edited

  • The on-stage banner at the opening ceremony.
  • Along with other invited speakers, ASI president Joel Kirsch is introduced to the audience.

Kirsch with translators     Post-conference gathering

  • Kirsch with the three translators who did a wonderful job translating between Arabic and English, the two languages spoken at the conference.
  • A post-event gathering in the office of conference director Professor Montather Ali of Basrah University (seated at desk). Invited speaker Professor Jerzy Kosiewicz of Warsaw’s Józef Pisudski University of Physical Education and conference representative Professor Nadhim Al-Wattar of Mosul University in Iraq flank Kirsch (l-r). Both Kosiewicz and Al-Wattar accepted invitations to join ASI’s International Board of Advisors, as did Professor Caner Açikada of Hacettepe University in Ankara, Turkey, seated on the far right.

Pari with others.     Interpreters having fun

  • Professor Parichehr Hanachi (left) of Alzahra University in Tehran with conference interpreters. Professor Hanachi has joined ASI’s International Board of Advisors.
  • Interpreters playfully “signing” on a post-conference cruise along the Shatt al-Arab waterway at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

     Kirsch with student     Kirsch with teacher and young women

  • Photos were taken after Kirsch spoke to a group of University of Basrah graduate students learning English.