By Ahmed Yakout

The 10th FASU Pre-Games International Symposium has been quite the informative experience. As an Egyptian professional athlete and someone who is very passionate about sports, the sessions on sports management and sports psychology have impacted greatly on my experience.

On day 1 of the symposium, the highlights for me were the presentations done by keynote speaker Dr. Leapetswe Malete, Associate Professor and Coordinator of Global initiatives in the Department of Kinesiology at Michigan State University, and by Ms. Cynthia Mumbo, Founder & CEO of Sports Connect Africa. Both presentations focused on how Africa can better utilize sports in terms of financial gains, quality of events, and talents.

They cited the difference in the financial prowess of sports in the United States and Africa. As an Egyptian who preaches for a new revolution in the sports scene and the utilization of sports to its full in Egypt and Africa, these presentations have helped shape my thoughts on what my next steps in the field are. It has strengthened my resolve to pursue a career in sports management beyond playing basketball and the option of doing a master’s degree abroad, and applying what I have learnt to the benefit of the African continent is the next step.

Day 2 focused on another topic I am passionate about, which is sports psychology. I was inspired as well by those presentations, especially that of Mr. Michael Wilson, M.A. in Psychology of Sports Performance and Mental Health.

He highlighted the importance of having mental awareness and toughness towards anxiety specifically for young athletes. He also spoke on athletes injury recovery and dealing with pressure from coaches. This felt like it was made for me as I have gone through 3 major knee surgeries over the past 4 years, which has drawn more focus on my mental strength and the perseverance to continue in my recovery; this presentation has added a lot to my knowledge.

After his lecture I engaged him further to help shed more light on my experiences and what I have endured recovering from my injuries and the pressure to play again. His advice was to differentiate between whether the coach’s remarks are personal or technical and to ignore the external factors.

All in all, this symposium has added a lot to my knowledge, both as an athlete and someone who plans for a future in sports management and business. I look forward to future sports symposiums and I aspire to host the FASU All Africa Games in The American University in Cairo one day.

A volunteer at the 10th FASU Games at the Kenyatta University in Nairobi Kenya, Ahmed Yakout is a student of Business at the American University in Cairo majoring in Management of Information and Communication Technology. A shooting guard/small forward with the AUC Men’s Basketball team. Ahmed is a Student Ambassador for AUC and Co-President of the AUC Debate Society. He also serves as the Project Manager in the AUC Athletics sports gear project for the year 2022/2023.