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Egyptian exchange announced by DC United and US Department of State

Official joint release from DC United and US Department of State

Recognizing the role coaches play in empowering women and girls through sports, D.C. United the U.S. Department of State announced today a soccer exchange program that will bring 11 Egyptian soccer coaches to the United States May 9-21, 2012, to work alongside their American counterparts.

As a function of the program, the group will participate in a United Soccer Club training on Friday, May 11 from 4:30-6:00 p.m. The session, run by United's 501(c)3 foundation, United for D.C., will be held at the Barry Farm Parks and Recreation Center.

Throughout the week, the Egyptian delegation will participate in workshops with American athletes; meetings with U.S. sports professionals; and clinics on coaching, sports administration, women's empowerment through sports, Title IX, conflict resolution, and disability sports.

These Sports Visitors 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.

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 soccer - to bring people together to foster greater understanding.

Under this new initiative, the Department is mobilizing all of its international sports programming, from Sports Envoys traveling overseas to Sports Visitors traveling to the United States, to increase the number of women and girls worldwide who are involved in sports. A cornerstone of this initiative is the creation of a new sports mentorship program that will connect women and girls from across the globe with their American counterparts.

Through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' SportsUnited Division, the U.S. Department of State conducts sports exchange programs to engage youth worldwide. Sports Visitors are youth and coaches who travel to the United States for an exchange. 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. Since 2003, SportsUnited has brought more than 900 young athletes from more than 50 countries to the United States to participate in Sports Visitor programs.

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