Former U.S. Soccer National Team Coaches and Players to Travel to Morocco for Empowering Women and Girls

WASHINGTON, D.C. /CitizenWire/ — Building on efforts to empower women and girls through sports, the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Soccer announced today former U.S. Women’s National Team players and coaches will travel to Morocco as Sports Envoys April 22-28, 2012. These Sports Envoys are a key component of the Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative, which aims to increase the number of women and girls worldwide who are involved in sports.

While in Morocco, former U.S. Women’s National Team assistant coach Lesle Gallimore and players Angela Hucles and Marian Dalmy will lead clinics focused on soccer skills and sports psychology for 40 female coaches from the region. They will also partner with the coaches from Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia to conduct soccer clinics with local female soccer players. In addition, the Sports Envoys will lead discussions about the importance of women’s sports and Title IX, the landmark U.S. law that defined equal opportunity.

The Empowering Women and Girls Through Sports Initiative builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power,” which embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools – in this case, the game of soccer – to bring people together and foster understanding.

In March, Amanda Cromwell and former U.S. Women’s National Team coach Lauren Gregg traveled to Argentina while Siri Mullinix and Lorrie Fair traveled to Venezuela as Sports Envoys. In addition, the U.S. Women’s National Team participated in a clinic with young female athletes in Japan on March 27 prior to their friendly match against the Japanese Women’s National Soccer Team. In February, former U.S. National Team players Danielle Slaton and Tony Sanneh traveled to Malaysia with Cheryl Bailey, the former general manager of the U.S. Women’s National Team.

SportsUnited is the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ division devoted to sports diplomacy programs at the U.S. Department of State. Since 2003, SportsUnited has brought more than 900 athletes from 58 countries to the United States to participate in Sports Visitor programs. Since 2005, SportsUnited has sent more than 200 U.S. athletes to over 50 countries to participate in Sports Envoy programs.

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