U.S. Department of State Announces Two Youth Sports Exchange Programs with Russia

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 3, 2012

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) announced two bilateral sports exchange programs with Russia. The upcoming programs—one of which brings Russians to the United States and the other which sends Americans to Russia—support the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission’s (BPC) efforts to increase cooperation between peoples of the United States and Russia.

The first program will bring 24 Russians—ten boys, ten girls, and four coaches—to Southern California for a beach volleyball program. From July 6 to July 20, the delegation will participate in volleyball clinics with young Americans that were organized in cooperation with USA Volleyball. The group will also take part in teambuilding, conflict resolution, and disability sports activities. This beach volleyball program reciprocates the 2010 program that sent 24 American youth and coaches to Moscow and Anapa. Three-time Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor also joined the 2010 delegation to lead sessions and speak with the participants about the importance of discipline and teamwork in sports.

The second program will send 24 Americans—ten boys, ten girls, and four coaches—to Moscow, Russia from July 14 to 27. The participants, selected in coordination with USA Swimming, will take part in swimming practices and engage with their Russian peers during cross-cultural programs. The swimming program also reciprocates a 2010 program, when 24 Russian swimmers and coaches traveled to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This summer’s beach volleyball and swimming programs are two in a series of BPC exchanges.

SportsUnited is ECA’s premier sports exchange program at the U.S. Department of State. Athletes and coaches from a range of sports are chosen to conduct clinics, visit schools, and engage with youth overseas in a dialogue on the importance of education, positive health practices, and respect for diversity. Since 2003, SportsUnited has brought nearly 1,000 athletes from over 60 countries to the United States to participate in Sport Visitor programs. Since 2005, SportsUnited has sent over 220 U.S. athletes to more than 50 countries to participate in Sports Envoy programs.

For more information, contact Anna Griffin of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, at GriffinAL@state.gov.

PRN: 2012/1085