Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
February 29, 2012


The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) SportsUnited division announced a baseball sports exchange that will bring six female softball and six male baseball coaches from the Philippines to the United States February 28 - March 8. The Filipino coaches will engage in Major League Baseball’s (MLB) spring training in Phoenix, Arizona. They will meet and attend games of several MLB organizations including the Kansas City Royals, San Francisco Giants, and San Diego Padres. They will also engage with young American athletes by visiting local area high schools and universities and participate in a Special Olympics event. These activities further develop their leadership skills and help strengthen people-to-people relationships between the United States and the Philippines.

This will be SportsUnited’s first exchange program with the Philippines. It is a follow-up program to the successful visit of Major League Baseball great, Ken Griffey Jr., to Manila last spring on behalf of the Department of State.

Sports diplomacy builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power,” embracing the full range of diplomatic tools, including sports, to bring individuals together to foster greater understanding.

SportsUnited is the sports exchange program of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Athletes and coaches from a range of sports are chosen to conduct clinics, visit schools, and engage with youth overseas on the importance of education, positive health practices, and respect for diversity. Since 2003, SportsUnited has brought almost 900 athletes from 59 countries to the U.S. to participate in Sport Visitor programs. Since 2005, SportsUnited has sent over 200 U.S. athletes to more than 50 countries to participate in Sports Envoy programs.

For more information, contact Marthena Cowart of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, U.S. Department of State, at CowartMS@state.gov.



PRN: 2012/311