Six Spider Student-Athletes To Take Educational Journey To South Africa
RICHMOND, Va. – Six University of Richmond student-athletes will participate in an educational and cultural journey to South Africa this week as part of the Department of Athletics' Global Leadership Immersion and International Education's EnCompass Program.
Men's basketball student-athlete Souleymane Koureissi (Harlem, N.Y.), Matt Fernandez (Richmond, Va.) from men's tennis, Molly Mraz (Erie, Pa.) from women's basketball, Robby Wacker (Greenville, N.C.)from baseball and Rebekah Greene (Henrico, Va.) and Amaya Jackson (Richmond, Va.) from women's track and field will being taking a trip of a lifetime to Cape Town and Johannesburg from August 4-17.
"Providing opportunities such as this visit to South Africa, affords our Spider student-athletes with the educational and cultural opportunities to experience another area of the world, while still being able to maintain their training commitments to their varsity programs," Vice President and Director of Athletics John Hardt said. "This trip continues our important partnership with the International Education's EnCompass Program and further emphasizes our commitment to providing the best possible student-athlete experience at Richmond."
Inspired by the University of Richmond's Faculty Seminar in South Africa and being an integral experience of the Spider Athletics Leadership Initiative, these student-athletes will tour local historical and cultural sites to explore the dynamics within Cape Town and Johannesburg. This group, accompanied by Associate Director of Academic Support for Athletics Courtney Hughes, will focus upon Nelson Mandela and his commingling of leadership and social justice. A tour of Robben Island, the District Six Museum and the Apartheid Museum will spearhead the groups discussion.
While in South Africa, the group will make another Spider connection almost 8,000 miles from campus. Richmond alum and former Spider student-athlete Justin Grove (men's soccer 2007-11 – International Studies) owns and operates the Grove Soccer Academy, which has multiple facilities in the world.
Tours of local townships and museums surrounding the historical significance of apartheid is included in this exploration. The group will also visit The University of Cape Town to meet and share experiences with students from the region. Finally, the Spider student-athletes will spend time engaging with University of Richmond faculty in South Africa, creating an academic opportunity to share, discuss and reflect upon their journey.
In preparation for this journey, the selected student-athletes have done pre-work researching their common themes and have meet with faculty to set the stage. Once back in the Richmond, these student-athletes would reintroduce their deepened perspectives about leadership, education, and social justice into our own environment.