sports diplomacy

The Government is using "rugby diplomacy" - sending former All Blacks to China - to strengthen trade links...The initiative was the brainchild of Sports Minister Murray McCully, who calls it "rugby diplomacy". "In the context of our overall relationship with China, which is going places quickly, it's one of those areas where we can underpin the growth of trade and economic relations," Mr McCully said.

There is plenty to be said for the strong Dutch team at the World Cup in South Africa...With a long history built around their “Total Football” style of play, they’re probably the most talented nation never to win a World Cup final. But considering the Dutch role in Apartheid, would the Dutch winning in South Africa be bittersweet?

The new American ambassador to the Philippines, Harry Thomas, is an avid sportsman. Thomas, an African-American, used to play football, track and field, softball and baseball, considered as the United States’ national sport.

World taekwondo athletes are gathering in South Korea this week for the 4th World Taekwondo Culture Expo, which kicks off today and runs through July 7 in Muju, North Jeolla Province. Over 1,200 athletes and officials from 30 countries will take part in the annual event sponsored by the World Taekwondo Federation and the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism.

Haitians love Brazilian soccer like almost nothing else, a half-century-old histoire d'amour that even smoothed the way for Brazil-led U.N. peacekeepers to help quell political unrest in 2004. With Haitians badly needing a release from tension and misery of the post-quake year, the 2010 Cup and Selecao mean more than ever.

As part of the United States Sports Envoy Program, NBA and WNBA veterans Sam “Big Smooth” Perkins and Sue Wicks gathered with Indonesian basketball figures in a Monday coaching clinic session for some 50 teenagers from around the capital.

The players on Iraq's premier national baseball team saw a baseball stadium for the first time on a recent 10-day visit to the United States, courtesy of the State Department.