Mindaugas has played a critical role in the University’s development as one of the most successful basketball universities in Europe.
In 2005, as a visiting lecturer from the Lithuanian Sports University, where he is now Chancellor, Mindaugas attended an international week at the University of Worcester with a clear focus upon developing a partnership that would incorporate research, coaching and player development.
His PhD thesis formed the template for fitness and conditioning of elite youth players in Lithuania and he worked with University of Worcester sports scientists to adopt the template for England Basketball.
Mindaugas also had the responsibility for the Lithuanian Coaches Association and he organised several student exchanges and visits for University of Worcester students to attend European Camps and seminars. Significantly, Mindaugas played an active role in securing European funding to enable the students from Worcester to attend.
In collaboration with Mick Donovan, Head of the University of Worcester’s Institute of Sport & Exercise Science, Mindaugas created the FIBA European MSc European basketball Coaching Science degree in partnership with the University of Worcester, Lithuanian Sports University and the Lithuanian Basketball Federation.
Since Mindaugas became a member of the FIBA Europe Board, he has actively promoted the work of Worcester at all levels. Mindaugas is currently working with the University of Worcester on exciting basketball projects that include the FIBA Europe Research Centre and the FIBA Europe Research Journal.
In 2007 Mindaugas became the youngest ever Secretary General of the Lithuanian Basketball Federation and in 2010 the youngest ever FIBA Europe Board member. Since then he has organised a range of World and European championships from junior boys and girls to senior men and women. The most recent event that he organised was the EuroBasket 2011, arguably will go into the history books as the most competitive and enthralling editions of the biennial event, with the final being watched by over 20 million people worldwide. He led the Lithuanian men’s programme that secured a bronze medal in the World Men’s Basketball Championship 2010.
Mick Donovan said: “One of the greatest strengths that Mindaugas possesses is the ability to have a critical understanding of the relationship between education and sport. He has fully embraced the philosophy of the University of Worcester, recognised our strengths and been a fantastic ambassador for us throughout the world.”
Story – BBL
Photo – Mindaugas Balciunas
Photo – Mick DONOVAN
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