sports diplomacy

Skateboarder and University of Waikato PhD student Neftalie Williams is in Cambodia this week at the invitation of the United States Embassy. As a US sports envoy, he will be leading a US Department of State Target of Opportunity Sports Diplomacy program, tasked with helping to increase mutual understanding between the people of Cambodia and the USA.

The renowned Premier Skills initiative run by the Premier League and the British council returns to Cape Town this week as part of their three-year Premier Skills programme. The programme, which started last Saturday and will conclude this Saturday, is taking place at the Ikamva home of Ajax Cape Town with intensive training for 60 grassroots coaches and 24 referees from all over the province.

Melania Trump has booked her first solo foreign trip as first lady, leading the U.S. delegation in September for the Olympics-style games for wounded military personnel. [...] More than 550 individuals from 17 countries are expected to compete in 12 sports in the September games. The figure includes about 90 American athletes.

This week's roundup explores the ways in which sports can play an active role in diplomacy.

The U.S. Embassy, in partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and the Ethiopian Basketball Federation, is hosting a two-day basketball clinic for Ethiopian youths from July 29-30, 2017 at the Ras-Hailu Gym in Addis Ababa.

The unique potential of sports to contribute towards achieving development has been recognized by the United Nations through a multitude of resolutions adopted by then General Assembly as well as the Human Rights Council. The contribution of sports was thus also recognized when the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted in 2015.

The program, which began in 2011 and is funded by a State Department grant, brings groups of international coaches, sports administrators and mostly teenage athletes to the public university's campus in Fairfax County, Virginia. [...] Participants gain a deeper understanding of inclusion and diversity in athletics, organizers say, at the same time that they get a glimpse of American culture — specifically, American sports culture.

The Olympic Games are coming back to Los Angeles. The only question now is will Southern California host its third Olympics in 2024 or 2028? [...] “Los Angeles is living legacy of this Olympic movement,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “In 1932 we were a Games changer. In 1984 we were a Games changer. During the Great Depression, during the Cold War, we’ve always answered the Olympic Movement’s call and this is a similarly intense and important moment for the Olympic Movement.”

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