Like it did last year in soccer, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, as part of its Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative, today announced that it will bring 18 teenage girl athletes and six female coaches from around the world to Washington, D.C. and Denver, the site of this year's NCAA Division I Women's Final Four.
From the State Department:
The exchange, in partnership with the NCAA, USA Basketball, and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), will enable the young athletes and coaches from Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe to participate in a variety of activities including: basketball clinics with their American counterparts, teambuilding exercises, workshops on Title IX and nutrition, and community events associated with the NCAA’s Women’s Final Four Championship.
Part of the Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative, 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 game of basketball – to bring people together to foster greater understanding.
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.