In October 2017, Sport for Life formally began working with Karim Ghabbour, CEO of Egyptian manufacturing company MCV, his project managers to advance Karim's vision for a world-class sport academy located outside of Cairo. Basing our work on the principles of Long-Term Athlete Development, we began a contract to advise on facilities, curriculums, training, competition, and personnel during the nine month Pre-Construction or Planning Phase, the two year Construction Phase, and the first 10 years of the Operational Phase.
Phase 1 came to a close at the end of June and, the sport academy is beginning to take shape. It will welcome its first group of kindergarteners in September 2020, and slowly fill up the other grades over the course of 14 years. Accordingly, our initial emphasis has been on finalizing the kindergarten and elementary grade facilities and sport curriculums.
The 50,000-square-metre (12.4 acres) grounds comprising kindergarten to Grade 5 facilities have been designed to maximize physical literacy development with two 25-metre pools, shallow pools, aquatic playground, four small-sided soccer fields, running tracks, four tennis courts, several beach soccer, volleyball and handball courts, water regeneration stations, climbing walls, natural playgrounds, asphalt playground markings, two gymnastics halls for Kindergarten grades, two gymnastics halls for elementary grades, and four indoor gymnasiums for volleyball, basketball, and handball.
Regarding sports curriculum, all students will have gymnastics, swimming, and physical education classes until Grade 5—or in the language of Long-Term Athlete Development, from the Active Start through FUNdamentals to the Learn to Train stage.
At Grade 6, when the students move to the 128,000-square-metre (31.6 acres) facility for Grade 6 through Grade 12 (currently in the design phase), they begin training in all nine of the academy sports: volleyball, handball, basketball, soccer, waterpolo, synchro, swimming, tennis, and athletics. Gradually, they will choose one in which to specialize, with the exception of the two early specialization sports of swimming and synchro.
With the construction crews scheduled to break ground this summer, the project will move to Phase 2 (the Construction Phase). Our partnership with MCV will entail Sport for Life providing expertise to build detailed curriculums, identifying equipment and technology, bringing together leading sport science education, creating comprehensive, world class training programs in 9 sports, and building an organizational infrastructure of qualified coaches, trainers, instructors and teachers in this phase. We are gratified and excited to be working with MCV to help design, build and operate the MCV Sport Academy and to create physically literate children, sporting champions and future leaders in Egypt.