BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Three young Vincentian female track and field athletes are among a group of 12 from the Caribbean participating in a track and field exchange program in Washington, D.C. and Eugene, Oregon from today, Tuesday, until June 28.
The United States Embassy in Barbados made the announcement last week but said it was not authorised to release the name of the athletes because they are minors.
They will be accompanied by coach Rosmund Griffith.
The program is part of the State Department’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative and is in partnership with USA Track and Field and the Oregon Track Club.
The girls join other athletes from The Bahamas, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago who will participate in the programme.
As part of the Empowering Women and Girls through Sports Initiative, which aims to increase the number of women and girls who participate in sports worldwide, these athletes will participate in teambuilding activities as well as sports clinics alongside their American counterparts.
Under this new initiative, the Department is mobilizing all of its international sports programming — from sports envoys traveling overseas to sports visitors traveling to the United States — to increase the number of women and girls worldwide who are involved in sports.
This exchange builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power,” which embraces the full range of diplomatic tools — in this case sports — to empower women and girls and foster greater understanding, the Embassy said in a press statement.
Through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ SportsUnited Division, the U.S. Department of State conducts sports exchange programs to engage youth worldwide.
Sports Visitors are youth and coaches who travel to the United States for an exchange. Sports Visitor programmes give young people an opportunity to discover how success in athletics can be translated into the development of life skills and achievement in the classroom. Since 2003, SportsUnited has brought more than 1,000 young athletes from more than 60 countries to the United States to participate in Sports Visitor programmes.