Office of the Spokesperson
March 9, 2017
The U.S. Department of State will welcome 16 international emerging leaders in the disability sports sector to the United States for the “Sport for Community” mentorship exchange program from March 11 to April 13. Sport for Community is designed to empower people with disabilities and promote rights and inclusion worldwide.
For the five-week exchange, the emerging leaders will be matched with American executives at top disability sport organizations across the country. Working side-by-side with their mentors, participants will develop strategic action plans designed to advance opportunities for people with disabilities by promoting their rights, dignity, and full inclusion in all aspects of society through sport. Participants will travel to Washington, D.C. at the beginning and end of the program to meet U.S. government officials and learn about the history of the American disability rights movement and U.S. sports culture.
The participant roster includes Paralympians, heads of National Paralympic Committees, social entrepreneurs, and sport for inclusion advocates. The 2017 participants hail from Argentina, Armenia, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, India, Kosovo, Mongolia, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Suriname, South Africa, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela. The mentors represent Ability360, Chicago Park District, Clemson University, Lakeshore Foundation, National Ability Center, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, Special Olympics-Washington, Turnstone, U.S. Association of Blind Athletes, U.S. Olympic Committee, and University of Texas at Arlington.
The program is conducted in partnership with the University of Tennessee’s Center for Sport, Peace, and Society. Connect with @sportsempower and @sportsdiplomacy on social media to join the conversation. For more information, please contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at ECA-Press@state.gov.
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