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Middle Eastern youth football coaches join US Sports Visitors programme

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Part of the State Department’s Sports Diplomacy programme, it aims to create dialogue through sport

Football coaches from Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen are amongst visitors to the United States from 1 June until 15 June as part of the multi-nation Sports Visitors Programme.

The programme, taking place in Washington, DC, includes workshops with American coaches, clinics with young athletes, and meetings with sports professionals.

During the visit, attendees will connect with organisations such as the Virginia Youth Soccer Association, the Washington Spirit of the National Women’s Soccer League, and DC United of Major League Soccer, and the team’s charitable arm, United for DC.

Issues discussed in the programme include promoting leadership, conflict resolution, strengthening democratic governance, and enhancing regional peace and security through sports coaching and administration.

The Sports Visitors Programme is part of the Sports Diplomacy initiative under the guidance of United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). Its aim is to empower cultural understanding and youth through sports.

“Sports Diplomacy uses the universal passion for sports as a way to transcend linguistic and sociocultural differences and bring people together,” says the Bureau’s website adding, “The Division’s use of sports as a platform exposes foreign participants to American culture while providing them with an opportunity to establish links with U.S. sports professionals and peers.”

The programme takes place in time for the 2014 World Cup that will start in Brazil on 12 June.


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