On Thursday, I met with 17 inspiring women from Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kenya, Macedonia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Tajikistan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Individually, they're up-and-comers in the world of sports -- as athletes, coaches, reporters, and managers. Together, they're the inaugural class of the U.S. Department of State and espnW Global Sports Mentoring Program. The group arrived at the State Department this morning for an orientation to kick off their month-long mentorships with leading American women in sports-related fields.
For the next four weeks, these emerging leaders will work alongside their American mentors from ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, to Procter and Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Saatchi and Saatchi in Los Angeles, California. Together, they'll craft action plans to give more women and girls worldwide the opportunity to participate in sports.
The Global Sports Mentoring Program builds on the growing evidence that girls who play sports are more likely to go to school, more likely to increase their earning power, and more likely to increase their participation and contribution to society.
As Secretary Clinton has said, "We believe in the power of sports."
In a year when Americans celebrated the 40th anniversary of Title IX and the world celebrated the successes of women at the 30th Summer Olympiad in London, these emerging leaders and their American mentors are taking the next step to ensure that through sports, women and girls can do anything.
Stay tuned for Twitter updates @AnnatState!