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Thinking it Through

Bringing CPASS research to Latin America

An ongoing interest in international, interdisciplinary collaboration across sport management and athletic coaching education took Associate Professor of Sport Management Gonzalo Bravo to Brazil from August 5 to December 3, 2016, for research and teaching.

Bravo visited the Research Center for Sport, Leisure and Society (CEPELS) at Universidad Federal do Paraná (UFPR) in Curitiba, along with three other universities in Brazil to teach guest lectures, work with graduate students and collaborate with faculty on projects of mutual interest.

In addition, Bravo spent a week in Santiago, Chile, where he presented at Universidad del Desarrollo while fostering an academic relationship between these two institutions.

While in Brazil, Bravo worked to develop institutional relationships between CPASS and host universities and to open concrete opportunities for students of both Brazilian universities as well as from WVU to facilitate short-term exchange of students and faculty.

Spending a semester in Brazil, teaching and conducting research, allowed Bravo to further his academic interest in sport management. During the last seven years, Bravo has conducted research and written a number of publications related to sport in Latin America.

Bravo’s data collection in the field of training and development of sport personnel, specifically international coaches, took place during the Global Coaches House (GCH) over the course of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Additionally, Bravo served as keynote speaker at a sport management conference, participated in a webinar, conducted numerous invited lectures and presentations, served as consultant and taught short courses.

A second research project involved the Sport Intelligence Project, an ongoing large database project developed at UFPR that aims to classify and organize all of the sport initiatives currently funded by the Ministry of Sport in Brazil.

Bravo considers being able to deliver the presentations in the Portuguese language one of his biggest accomplishments. This was the first time Bravo was able to communicate orally and deliver an entire lecture or conference in Portuguese.

“It is important to keep in mind that while Portuguese has a great deal of similarities with the Spanish language (my native language), Portuguese is a different language. Gaining the confidence and mastery of a second or third language requires hard work, concentration, confidence and a good dose of courage. I believe that part of my improvement in mastering my level of Portuguese was gained through the Portuguese classes I took at the Department of World Languages at WVU in the fall of 2015,” Bravo said.

Bravo conducted additional presentations in Chile to students enrolled in a sport law course taught at the School of Law at Universidad del Desarrollo in Santiago, Chile, titled “Myth and reality of the governance and structure of sports in the United States.” The second presentation was a video web conference organized by the Global Studies Center and the World Affairs Council of the University of Pittsburgh, titled “What’s up with the World. Are the Olympics a reflection of World Politics?”

The presentations allowed Bravo to share his work with new audiences and “brand” the name of CPASS and West Virginia University among the host universities, faculty and students.


Dr. Gonzalo Bravo, a native of Santiago, Chile, completed his master’s degree in Sport Administration from Penn State University and a Ph.D. in Sport Management from The Ohio State University. In 2004, he joined the Sport Management program at WVU, where he currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses.

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