Collegiate Welcomes Egyptian Physical Education Teacher
For the past month, Collegiate School has hosted Waleed Abo-Elnour, a physical education teacher from Cairo, Egypt, allowing him to learn about all aspects of athletic, physical education and coaching programs at the School.
Mr. Abo-Elnour, who is currently the P.E. lead teacher at New Generation International Schools
in Cairo, came to Collegiate with the support of his colleague, alumnus Kemp Gouldin '98, founder of the nonprofit organization, Because Baseball
. The program, based in Egypt, seeks to bring children and adults together through learning and enjoying the sport. In addition to teaching, Mr. Abo-Elnour also coaches basketball and volleyball and serves as chair of the International Schools Sports Organization of Cairo.
During his visit, Mr. Abo-Elnour shadowed Athletic Director Karen Doxey, Associate Athletic Director Andrew Stanley and other members of the athletics staff. He spent most of his afternoons with head varsity baseball coach Andrew Slater, assisting at practices.
“I’m taking a lot of notes,” Mr. Abo-Elnour said. “I’m trying to get the whole picture of everything to use it in my school.”
He also spent time talking with students throughout the School about his culture and life in Egypt.
“I’m having fun with the kids,” he said. “Maybe they haven’t heard anything about Egypt except seeing pictures from the news. It’s the same for me. I’m here to learn about the U.S. and the people here. And the people are giving me the experience that I am welcome.”
On April 15, Mr. Abo-Elnour threw out the first pitch at the Richmond Flying Squirrels game. The date was significant as it was on April 15, 1947, that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier by starting at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. While he was nervous about having so many people on hand to watch him make the throw, Mr. Abo-Elnour says he was thrilled to be asked to do it. The former javelin thrower reveled in his true American experience. He returns home on April 30.
“My time here has gone so fast,” he said. “I feel energized to take back all the information I have learned and share it with my students.”