During the last two weeks of July, a Virginia Tech Recreational Sports intramural sports graduate assistant traveled to Europe to instruct and train military personnel to officiate flag football games.

Feldhaus, of Omaha, Neb., a second-year graduate student in forestry in the College of Natural Resources and Environment, was part of the 2011 U.S. Army Garrison Vicenza Flag Football Official Clinic team. He was accompanied by Kurt Klier, intramural sports director for University of Maryland Department of Recreation; Jason Gant, assistant director of competitive sports for Creighton University Department of Campus Recreation; and Mark Comer, intramural sports graduate assistant for South Florida Department of Recreational Sports.  

From July 18-23, these four National Intramural Recreational Sports Association members hosted the week-long clinic in Wiesbaden, Germany, followed by another clinic in Vicenza, Italy, with the help of each base’s Army Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program. The clinic information was taught using classroom lectures, breakout sessions, and hands-on training on the fields. 

At the end of the trainings, each service member in attendance was certified to be a flag football official. Some participants were also certified to be clinicians so they can teach the clinics at their respective bases. 

Feldhaus said he was both excited and honored to receive this opportunity. “The chance to work with the U.S. Army in Europe was very unique because, over the past 30 years, very few people have had the opportunity to be a part of these flag football clinics,” Feldhaus said. “I was absolutely thrilled and honored to participate in this year’s clinics as a representative of both Virginia Tech and NIRSA. It was a privilege to give back to the men and women who give so much for our country.”

 “NIRSA has been conducting the flag football clinic in Europe for nearly 30 years” said Klier, who holds a chair position for the NIRSA Sports Officials Development Program in addition to his role with University of Maryland Department of Recreation. “This was the first year that graduate students were selected, and Jeff Feldhaus was an obvious choice. Jeff’s credentials of being an All-American Flag Football Official and serving as an evaluator at various regional tournaments complimented the group of clinicians who traveled to Germany and Italy. Jeff’s professionalism and expertise is a shining example of the Virginia Tech Recreational Sports program and its growing national reputation for producing high-quality sport officials.”

 “Vicenza Sports, Fitness & Aquatics thanks Kurt Klier and his team for conducting the 2011 USAG-Vicenza Flag Football Official Clinic in a professional manner,” said Ricky Jackson, sports programmer at the U.S. Army Garrison for Vicenza, Italy, who assisted in the organization of the clinic. “Their knowledge, expertise, and can-do attitude immeasurably contributed to a successful flag football official’s clinic. All of them demonstrated professionalism, were unselfish, and showed future potential for officiating at the highest level of sports

In the future, the Army MWR says they have planned to continue to host these clinics every two years. Any Virginia Tech student can apply to become an intramural sports official with Virginia Tech Recreational Sports. Visit the employment website to receive more information and apply online.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Alyse Rudy, of Stafford, Va, a second-year master’s of business administration student in the Pamplin College of Business.  

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