U.S. Department of State Announces Sports Visitor Program for Baseball and Softball Players

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
August 7, 2012

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced today an international sports exchange that will bring 20 athletes and four coaches from the Western Hemisphere to the United States August 9-22, 2012.

Athletes and coaches from Ecuador, Panama, and Mexico will participate in a variety of activities with their American counterparts including: baseball clinics, attending the 2012 Little League World Series, as well as educational sessions on nutrition, conflict resolution, and disability sports.

Part of the Sports Visitor program, 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 the games of baseball and softball – to bring people together to 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 900 young athletes from more than 50 countries to the United States to participate in Sports Visitor programs.

For more information, contact Anna Griffin at GriffinAL@state.gov.

PRN: 2012/1275