Media Note
Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 9, 2009


The U.S. Department of State salutes Spirit of Soccer on receiving the Most Courageous Use of Sport Award from Beyond Sport, a non-governmental organization that seeks to celebrate and support positive change through sport. The Most Courageous Use of Sport Award goes go to an individual or project that has shown “extraordinary acts of courage in delivering social change through sport.”

Spirit of Soccer, a nongovernmental organization, uses soccer skills clinics to educate children about the dangers posed by landmines and explosive remnants of war in post-conflict regions of the world. Since 1996, over 75,000 children in Bosnia, Kosovo, Cambodia and Iraq have received Mine Risk Education through Spirit of Soccer’s programs, conducted in partnership with local football associations and Ministries of Education and Sport to ensure that social education and development messages are integrated into local sporting programs. The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs has provided grants worth more than $400,000 to Spirit of Soccer’s Mine Risk Education efforts.

The Most Courageous Use of Sport Award will be made at the Beyond Sport Summit July 7-9 in London, England. It comes with a £10,000 (approximately $16,000 USD) prize and a custom package of support for Spirit of Soccer. For more information about Spirit of Soccer, visit www.spiritofsoccer.net.

Spirit of Soccer is one of the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement’s 63 partners that support humanitarian mine action. The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement’s bilateral and multilateral mine action programs in 25 countries, reinforced by the generous contributions of its public-private partners and their supporters, have contributed to decreases in the worldwide rate of landmine casualties, and have restored valuable land to safe, productive use. To learn more, visit www.state.gov/t/pm/wra.



PRN: 2009/699