Ken Griffey Jr. Leads Off Sports Diplomacy Effort in the Philippines
The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announced today that former 12-time Major League Baseball All Star Ken Griffey, Jr. and Joe Logan, a former pitcher in the Montreal Expos organization, will travel to the Philippines February 27-March 5, 2011. As sports diplomacy envoys, they will visit Manila and Cebu, where they will conduct baseball clinics with youth baseball players, softball players and coaches and participate in local community service projects.
Sports diplomacy envoys build on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power diplomacy,” which embraces the use of a full range of diplomatic tools – in this case baseball – to bring people together and foster greater understanding among people and cultures.
This trip follows trip to South Korea by Griffey’s former teammate and Cincinnati Red, Barry Larkin. Ken Griffey, Jr. played for the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds. Find more information on Griffey’s Major League Baseball career here. This is his first trip as a sports diplomacy envoy.
SportsUnited is the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ premier sports exchange program at the U.S. Department of State. Athletes and coaches in various sports are chosen to conduct clinics, visit schools, and speak to youth overseas. The American athletes and coaches conduct drills and team building activities, as well as engage youth in a dialogue on the importance of an education, positive health practices and respect for diversity. Since 2005, SportsUnited has sent more than 100 U.S. athletes to 40 countries to participate in sports envoy programs.
For more information, please contact Talley Sergent of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, at (202) 632-6043, SergentRT@state.gov or Joseph Tordella at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, 63-2-301-2466, TordellaJA@state.gov.