Sports Initiative by LEAD Scholars Promotes Fitness and Team Spirit

To promote health and fitness, students in the Leadership for Education and Development (LEAD) program organized a biking tournament on Friday, November 22 called Not My Game, But Better Than No Game. 

The student-led initiative was organized by the LEAD Sports Committee for LEAD students and the recipients of other scholarships such as those awarded Empower, Tomorrow’s Leaders, Atef H. and Fofa A. Eltoukhy and Molly Bartlett Endowed Scholarships. “The purpose of the initiative is to bring all students together in a fun and healthy atmosphere, and to take some time off from academics and the pressure it creates. As we aim at staying away from the routine; this was reflected in the choice of the game. Biking was a new experience for most of the students,” said Engy Adham, student in the LEAD program from Minya, studying journalism and mass communication. 

Mariam Thabet, member of the LEAD Sports Committee and the first recipient of the Atef and Fofa Eltoukhy Family Endowed Scholarship, said that although her high school in Assiut did not have any extracurricular activities or sports events, she took the initiative to work with a local church in children’s services and compete in volleyball tournaments. “I am very impressed with AUC’s sports facilities and it is unfortunate that not a lot of students use them,” said Thabet. “Through our committee, we hope to encourage students to take advantage of the sports facilities on campus and to manage their time between sports and academia.” Thabet, an economics freshman, is also a member of AUC’s volleyball team and of Glow, a community-service club that aims at developing student leadership skills. 

Osama Abdel Wahhab from Fayyoum, one of the first recipients of the Empower scholarship, believes that practicing sports is very important because it helps release stress and negative energy, and it “certainly puts you in a better mood.” Abdel Wahab is studying business administration and is a member of the Student Union and the Model Council of Ministers, a student organization that aims to spread political awareness among university students. “Participating in several activities on campus has helped me acquire communication and negotiation skills, as well as social skills as it gave me the opportunity to deal with people from different backgrounds,” Abdel Wahab emphasized. 

Merna Zaki, another recipient of Empower and an economics freshman student, echoed Abdel Wahab’s sentiments adding that her participation in extracurricular activities has helped boost her self-confidence. “The Empower scholarship, the LEAD Sports Committee and my participation in the Student Union has introduced me to all types of people, and it helped me get out of my little circle,” explained Zaki, who is very proud to be selected among the Empower scholarship recipients.

The LEAD Sports Committee was initiated in Spring 2013 to encourage students from all the different scholarship programs to practice sports on campus. They organize two sports tournaments per semester, and they will soon open the door for all members of the student body to encourage diversity and open communication channels.