American athletes headed to India for sports diplomacy
Washington, Feb 12 : Two US athletes, Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer Barry Larkin and Olympian Natasha Watley, are headed to India as sports envoys to encourage youth participation in sports.
During their Feb 12-18 trip to India, Larkin and Whatley will lead baseball and softball clinics in New Delhi and Imphal for underserved youth and their coaches, as well as engage in dialogue on sports and diversity, the State Department announced Tuesday.
In both cities, the sports envoys will meet with officials from the Indian Baseball and Softball Associations as well as representatives from NGOs that promote youth sports opportunities.
Throughout the exchange, they will speak with local media about how sports encourage in the development of good sportsmanship, leadership, and teamwork skills.
Working with Major League Baseball and USA Softball, this trip marks state department's first joint baseball and softball programme, its bureau of educational and cultural affairs said in a media release.
Sports diplomacy builds on the state department's efforts to create opportunities for young people so that they can share experiences and foster greater international cooperation, it said.
SportsUnited, which is a part of the educational and cultural affairs bureau, has brought over 1,000 athletes from 65 countries to the US to participate in sport visitor programmes.
SportsUnited has also sent approximately 250 US athletes to almost 60 countries since 2005.