San Diego Diplomacy Council launches Youth Sports Diplomacy Program
Published - 06/30/18 - 09:27 AM | 5802 views | 0 0 comments | 84 84 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Members of the San Diego Diplomacy Council’s Youth Sports Diplomacy Program enjoy a Vietnamese meal.
Members of the San Diego Diplomacy Council’s Youth Sports Diplomacy Program enjoy a Vietnamese meal.
The San Diego Diplomacy Council (SDDC) is launching its first Youth Sports Diplomacy Program. In July, the San Diego Diplomacy Council will take 25 female volleyball players and coaches from the Exodus Social Justice Volleyball Club, an organization founded on offering quality coaching to underprivileged and unsheltered youth, to Vietnam and Laos for a sports and cultural exchange program, Adaptive Sports for Social Change. This program is organized by the San Diego Diplomacy Council in partnership with the National Ability Center and is funded through an International Sports Programming Initiative cooperative agreement through the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs’ Sports Diplomacy division.

This program is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young female athletes from diverse social and cultural backgrounds in San Diego to transcend their differences, learn about the world, and become U.S. youth ambassadors for peace, prosperity, and stability. The San Diego ambassadors will play exhibition games against local teams, run clinics for at-risk youth, and explore topics related to youth leadership, environmental sustainability, and women’s empowerment while forging global friendships and representing the U.S. through sports diplomacy.  Teams from Vietnam and Laos will then spend one week in San Diego in December for a reciprocal exchange experience.

The San Diego Diplomacy Council connects San Diego to the rest of the world through professional, educational and cultural exchange programs. One of 90 nationwide organizations designated by the U.S State Department to provide these services, the San Diego Diplomacy Council builds relationships between community and business leaders in the San Diego region with their counterparts around the world; addressing challenges like social justice, education, citizen safety, economic opportunity and environmental sustainability.

The National Ability Center empowers individuals of all abilities by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through sport, recreation and educational programs. Located in Park City, Utah, it is one of the largest facilities in the country to provide recreational and sports opportunities to individuals of all abilities. Each year, the National Ability Center provides thousands of lessons in programs including skiing, horseback riding, cycling and archery.

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The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State fosters mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries to promote friendly and peaceful relations. This mission is accomplished through academic, cultural, sports, and professional exchanges that engage youth, students, educators, artists, athletes, and rising leaders in the U.S. and more than 160 countries.

The Sports Diplomacy division (formerly SportsUnited) uses the international language of sports as a tool to promote tolerance, understanding and the peaceful resolution/prevention of conflict; to increase awareness among young people of the importance of following a healthy lifestyle and physical fitness in order to prevent illness, substance abuse, and negative behaviors; and to improve the quality of life for persons with disabilities by providing inclusive sports opportunities that contribute to the physical and psychological health of people at all ages who experience disabilities.

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