U.S. Department of State Announces Soccer Envoy Program in Ethiopia
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and US Soccer announced today that they will send Tony Sanneh and Kate Markgraf to Ethiopia July 11-15, 2012. Former men’s national team member and Major League Soccer (MLS) player Sanneh and former women’s national team member Markgraf will participate in a U.S. government exchange program that brings people together for greater understanding through sports.
The envoys will be at work in the eastern Ethiopian city of Dire Dawa, where they will head the soccer portion of a four-day Youth Culture, Sport and Friendship Camp sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa. This camp, organized together with the Ethio-Italy Technical College, The Dire Dawa Mayor’s Office, The Dire Dawa Sports Commission and the Dire Dawa Police Commission, is aimed at exchanging cultural traditions and promoting healthy living through sport and education. The envoys will work with young men and women, ages 13 – 20.
Sport Envoys are current and retired professional athletes and coaches from a range of sports that travel overseas to conduct drills, lead teambuilding sessions, and engage youth in a dialogue on the importance of education, health, and respect for diversity. In partnership with SportsUnited, US Soccer players, coaches and administrators have visited over 18 countries since 2006. The athletes have offered soccer clinics for thousands of boys, girls, and coaches.
SportsUnited is the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ 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 an education, positive health practices, and respect for diversity. Since 2003, SportsUnited has brought nearly 1,000 athletes from over 60 countries to the U.S. to participate in Sport Visitor programs. Since 2005, SportsUnited has sent over 220 U.S. athletes to more than 50 countries to participate in Sport 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; Diane Brandt at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa at BrandtDN@state.gov or Neil Buethe of US Soccer at firstname.lastname@example.org.