Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 26, 2012

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) announces a sports exchange program that will bring 13 athletes—12 youth and one coach—to the United States from June 26 to July 9. This program marks the fourth sports exchange with Tunisia, following up on basketball Sports Visitor and Sports Envoys programs in 2008, 2010, and 2012.

During the first half of their visit, participants will have an opportunity to attend the 2012 USA Olympics Swimming Trials in Omaha, NE. The delegation will also participate in a Special Olympics session and interact and train with their American counterparts. The final part of the program will take place in Fort Lauderdale, FL where the delegation will take part in a series of intensive swimming clinics, strength and conditioning trainings, and educational summer camp programs alongside American youth. Throughout the two-week program, the group will participate in swimming clinics and related activities with their American peers as well as engage in educational sessions on nutrition, conflict resolution, and disability sports.

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

SportsUnited is the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ premier sports exchange program 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 in a dialogue on the importance of education, positive health practices, and respect for diversity. Since 2003, SportsUnited has brought nearly 1,000 athletes from over 60 countries to the U.S. to participate in sports visitor programs. Since 2005, SportsUnited has sent over 220 U.S. athletes to more than 50 countries to participate in sports envoy programs.

For more information, contact Anna Griffin at .

PRN: 2012/1053