The State Department uses a variety of diplomatic strategies to meet our foreign policy goals. Sports diplomacy is one of the most effective tools for reaching individuals around the world. Sports transcend borders, build relations, foster mutual understanding, and promote teamwork, inclusion, and education.
In the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, we have several programs which bring international participants to the United States, where they can learn first-hand about American culture. At the same time, Americans have the opportunity to learn about foreign cultures and the challenges faced by young people from abroad.
Sports Visitors are young athletes and coaches chosen to visit the United States for two weeks, offering participants the opportunity to experience American society, culture, and values.
Sports Envoys are American athletes and coaches who travel overseas to lead programs developed by U.S. embassies and consulates. The Envoys hold sports clinics for young people and their coaches, participate in community outreach activities, and engage youth on the importance of leadership and respect for diversity.
About the Author: Morgan O'Brien serves as a Cultural Affairs Officer in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' (ECA) SportsUnited Office.