Sports Management for Women: A Multi-Regional Project
In the lead-up to the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the kick-off to the 40th anniversary year of Title IX, the U.S. Department of State launched a series of international soccer exchanges to highlight the value of sports in empowering women and girls. This initiative builds on Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s vision of “smart power diplomacy” to harness the full range of diplomatic tools at our disposal—in this case international soccer exchanges—to advance United States foreign policy goals and foster greater understanding.
One of these groups included a 10-day international exchange program for six sports management professionals through the International Visitors Leadership Program, that was planned in partnership with Phelps Stokes in July 2011. The 5 visitors were from five different countries: Bolivia, Malaysia, Pakistan, South Africa, and the West Bank, and were a mix of females and males. With an emphasis on the administration of women’s and girls’ soccer programs, the program allowed the visitors to exchange ideas and best practices in the management of sports and recreational programs with their American counterparts. They examined how athletic programs for women and girls promote leadership, teamwork, respect, self-awareness and life skills, and how sports and recreation programs can make a positive impact on at-risk and underserved youth.