Empowering Women and Girls through Sports: U.S. Department of State Announces International Exchange for Female Track and Field Athletes

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 14, 2012

In partnership with USA Track and Field and the Oregon Track Club, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced that 12 girls and four female coaches from The Bahamas, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago will participate in a track and field exchange program in Washington, D.C. and Eugene, Oregon, June 18-28, 2012. As part of the Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, which aims to increase the number of women and girls who participate in sports worldwide, these athletes will participate in teambuilding activities as well as sports clinics alongside their American counterparts.

Under this new initiative, the Department is mobilizing all of its international sports programming—from Sports Envoys traveling overseas to Sports Visitors traveling to the United States— to increase the number of women and girls worldwide who are involved in sports. Click here to learn more.

This exchange builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power,” which embraces the full range of diplomatic tools – in this case sports– to empower women and girls and foster greater understanding.

Through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ SportsUnited Division, the U.S. Department of State conducts sports exchange programs to engage youth worldwide. Sports Visitors are youth and coaches who travel to the United States for an exchange. Sports Visitor programs give young people an opportunity to discover how success in athletics can be translated into the development of life skills and achievement in the classroom. Since 2003, SportsUnited has brought more than 1,000 young athletes from more than 60 countries to the United States to participate in Sports Visitor programs.

For more information, contact Talley Sergent at SergentRT@state.gov.

PRN: 2012/981