Author: aml13008

10.07.2014 Discussing Sport-Based Youth Development

International Sports Programming Initiative- Sport for Social Change

The International Sports Programming Initiative is funded by the SportsUnited branch of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), and the program is developed and delivered by Global Training and Development Institute. SportsUnited is a Division in ECA devoted to Sports diplomacy, and taps into sport’s ability to increase dialogue and cultural understanding between people worldwide. For more than sixty years, ECA has funded and supported programs that seek to promote mutual understanding and respect between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Other ECA programs include the Fulbright Program and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. For more information about ECA programs, visit:

Sport for Social Change

The exchange program provides a 2-way educational and cultural exchange to 20 professionals working in sport-based youth development (10 from South Africa, 10 from the United States). The program will encourage participants to share their experiences, challenges and successes in managing and organizing youth sport. While traveling overseas, participants will discuss sport-based youth development and the practical applications of using sport in working with youth in their communities. In addition, each participant will be paired with someone from the opposite country participate in a 3-day job shadow at their counterpart’s organization as a way to see the methodology in practice.

For the first portion of the exchange, South African fellows will travel to the U.S. with Dr. Marion Keim and Ms. Nariman Laattoe (of the University of the Western Cape) to participate in the 12-day U.S. based exchange, which includes a 3-day job shadow. After the South African fellows return home, all participants in this program will use a web-based platform to collaborate in the creation of a small social change project that uses sport to engage youth. These small projects, supported by mini-grants, will empower South African participants to use their previous skill combined with their experience in the United States to address a community need. In March of 2015, the group of U.S. fellows will travel with GTDI program staff, Roy Pietro and Danielle DeRosa to Cape Town, South Africa to learn more about the practical applications of sport-based youth development in the Western Cape region, and to also spend time at their counterpart’s organization to job shadow and work on the small grant-funded project.

Sample U.S. Based Agenda

For more information on this program, please email Danielle DeRosa.

UConn Awarded U.S. Dept. of State Grant for Sports Exchange Program with South Africa

STORRS, Conn. – For the second year in a row, the University of Connecticut has been awarded $225,000 for an International Sports Programming Initiative exchange grant by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) SportsUnited Division. The grant will fund the Sports for Social Change two-way exchange program, aimed at promoting collaboration, knowledge sharing and mutual understanding between the U.S. and South Africa. The program increases the professional capacity of individuals who design and manage community or school youth sport programs that function as tools for fostering positive social change.

The University of Connecticut’s Global Training and Development Institute (GTDI), located in the UConn Office of Global Affairs, developed and piloted the Sports for Social Change program in Hong Kong in 2012. The success of the pilot program led to the development of a similar program for South Africa.

Roy Pietro, Principal Investigator for the program and Director of the GTDI, explains that what makes this program unique is its focus on the “role of youth sports as a significant factor in promoting educational success, psychosocial development, tolerance, cross-cultural understanding and conflict resolution.” The program serves as both an educational and cultural exchange, which will enable American and South African youth sport administrators to share their experiences, challenges and successes in managing and organizing youth sport programs.

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